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  • Open Access

Measurement of diastolic left ventricular function with ultra-fast phase contrast MRI

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201113 (Suppl 1) :P231

  • Published:


  • Cardiac Cycle
  • Left Ventricular Function
  • Breath Hold
  • Left Ventricular Systolic Function
  • Ventricular Systolic Function


MRI is the accepted gold standard for assessment of left ventricular systolic function; however, no standards are available to assess diastolic function at MRI. E/A and E/e’ ratios are currently used in echocardiography to evaluate left ventricular diastolic function. Measuring these ratios with phase contrast MRI may provide a complementary approach to assessing left ventricular function.


To validate E/A and E/e’ ratios acquired with phase contrast MRI relative to established values using echocardiography.


17 self-reported healthy volunteers were recruited under an IRB approved protocol. Ultra fast phase contrast data was acquired on a 1.5T Siemens Aera using both breath-hold (30 frames per cardiac cycle) and free breathing (50 frames per cardiac cycle) paradigms. To measure e’ velocities, phase contrast data (Venc 25cm/s) was acquired in the short axis orientation at a slice position where the myocardium on the apical side of the valve ring was within the slice throughout the cardiac cycle. To measure E and A velocities, phase contrast data (Venc 80 cm/s) was acquired in a single slice parallel to the mitral valve annulus, positioned such that the slice stayed below the valve throughout the entire cardiac cycle. E and A velocities as well as septal and lateral e’ velocities were calculated using standard flow post-processing. 2 subjects were excluded from both analyses due to improper gating, and 4 additional subjects were excluded from the breath hold analysis because there was too much noise to identify e’ velocities.


With free breathing, E/A was measured at 1.7 ± 0.5 (range 0.8-2.6), septum E/e’ was measured at 5.4 ± 1.5 (range 2.5-7.4), and lateral E/e’ ratio was measured at 5.1 ± 1.7 (range 2.6-8.4). With the breath hold, E/A was measured at 1.5 ± 0.6 (range 0.7-2.7), septum E/e’ was measured at 6.1 ± 2.2 (range 3.6-10.2), and lateral E/e’ was measured at 5.4 ± 2.1 (range 3.5-10.9). Subjects with an E/e’ ratio above 8.0 had normal left atrial size. Figure 1.
Figure 1
Figure 1

Time/velocity curve showing e’ and a’ in lateral myocardium


The measured E/A and E/e’ values are within normal limits using cutoff values that have been published with echocardiography [1], suggesting that phase contrast MRI may provide a complementary approach to assessing left ventricular diastolic function.

Authors’ Affiliations

Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
Siemens Healtcare USA, Chicago, IL, USA
Northwestern University, Department of Radiology, Chicago, IL, USA


  1. Nagueh SF, et al: Recommendations for the evaluation of left ventricular diastolic function by echocardiography. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2009, 22: 107-10.1016/j.echo.2008.11.023.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Collins et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.