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Phase contrast mri measurement of e/a and e/e'


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 due to 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’ was measured at 5.1 ± 1.7 (range 2.6 - 8.4). With 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 E/e’ above 8.0 had normal left atrial size.


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.


  1. Nagueh SF, Appleton CP, Gillebert TC, 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.

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Chatterjee, N., Collins, J., Carr, J. et al. Phase contrast mri measurement of e/a and e/e'. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 13 (Suppl 1), P237 (2011).

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