Assessment of normal flow patterns in the pulmonary circulation by using 4D magnetic resonance velocity mapping.Revista : Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Volumen : 31
Número : 2
Páginas : 178-188
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación
Objective The purpose of this study was to analyze flow patterns in the pulmonary circulation of healthy volunteers by using 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging. Materials and Methods The study was approved by the local ethics committee and all subjects gave written informed consent. Eighteen volunteers underwent a 4D flow scan of the whole-heart. Two patients with congenital heart disease were also included to detect possible patterns of flow abnormalities (Patient 1: corrected transposition of great arteries (TGA); Patient 2: partial anomalous pulmonary venous return and atrial septal defect). To analyze flow patterns, 2D planes were placed on the main pulmonary artery (PA), left and right PA. Flow patterns were assessed manually by two independent viewers using vector fields, streamlines and particle traces, and semi-automatically by vorticity quantification.ResultsTwo counter-rotating helices were found in the main PA of volunteers. Right-handed helical flow was detected in the right PA of 15 volunteers. Analysis of the helical flow by particles traces revealed that both helices contributed mainly to the flow in the right PA. In the patient with corrected TGA helical flow was not detected. Abnormal vortical flow was visualized in the main PA of patient 2, suggesting elevated mean PA pressure. ConclusionsHelical flow is normally present in the main PA and right PA. 4D flow is an excellent tool to evaluate noninvasively complex blood flow patterns in the pulmonary circulation. Knowledge of normal and abnormal flow patterns might help to evaluate patients with congenital heart disease adding functional information undetectable with other imaging modalities.