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- Open Access
Inline directionally independent magnitude of velocity maps calculated from 3D encoded phase contrast images
© Glielmi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 21 January 2010
Phase contrast magnetic resonance (MR) with velocity-encoding provides cardiovascular flow visualization and quantification of the severity of stenosis by evaluating the peak velocity within the core of a post-stenotic jet. MR typically underestimates peak velocity due in part to reliance on a through-plane velocity-encoded 2D slice orientated perpendicular to the jet. However, post-stenotic jets frequently exhibit a degree of eccentricity and can change direction throughout the cardiac cycle. Current methods rely on optimal slice orientation [1, 2].
We propose inline computation of velocity magnitude independent of direction, eliminating reliance on optimal slice orientation and facilitating clinical evaluation of irregular flow patterns as found in stenotic jets.
5 patients (4 females: 6-22, 1 male: 10) with congenital heart disease and 2 healthy volunteers (male: 34 years, female: 27 years) were scanned on Siemens 1.5 T scanners (Avanto and Espree, Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany). Data were acquired using a phase contrast sequence with 3 flow encoding directions and one flow compensated reference (TR/TE = 26/3.4 ms, 1.3 × 1.3 × 5.0 mm resolution, VENC 100-200 cm/s).
Phase differences between each flow encoded and the flow compensated images were quantified in terms of velocity for each direction. Next, the root sum square of 3 directional velocities yielded pixel-wise magnitude of velocity independent of direction. All processing was programmed in the Siemens Image Calculation Environment (ICE) enabling immediate visualization and evaluation of results.
Magnitude of velocity calculation provides a more accurate peak velocity measurement that is independent of slice orientation, flow direction and temporally variable jet direction. Inline computation of magnitude of velocity provides immediate visualization and integration with conventional post-processing tools. Limitations include longer TE than single direction acquisitions and intravoxel dephasing of in-plane sensitivity.