A 4D-flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance study of flow asymmetry and haemodynamic quantity correlations in the pulmonary artery

Henrike Gbinigie, Louise Coats, Jehill D Parikh, Kieren G Hollingsworth, Lian Gan
Physiological Measurement 2021 January 22

OBJECTIVE: In this paper we elucidate the asymmetric flow pattern and the haemodynamic quantity distributions and correlations in the pulmonary artery (PA) vasculature in healthy adults having structurally normal hearts, to provide reference on the flow characteristics in the PA and the right ventricle.

APPROACH: Velocity data are acquired non-invasively from 18 healthy volunteers by 4D-Flow magnetic resonance imaging, resolved to 20 phases with spatial resolution 3×3×3 mm3 . Interpolation is applied to improve the accuracy in quantifying haemodynamic quantities including kinetic energy, rotational energy, helicity and energy dissipation rate. These quantities are volumetrically normalised to remove size dependency, representing densities or local intensity.

MAIN RESULTS: Flow asymmetry in the PA is quantified in terms of all the flow dynamic quantities and their correlations. The right PA has larger diameter and higher peak stroke velocity than the left PA. It also has the highest rotational energy intensity. Counter-rotating helical streams in the main PA appear to be associated with the unidirectional helical flow noticed in the left and the right PA near the peak systole.

SIGNIFICANCE: This study provides a fundamental basis of normal flow in the PA. It implies the validity to use these flow pattern-related quantitative measures to aid with the identification of abnormal PA flow non-invasively, specifically for detecting abnormalities in the pulmonary circulation and response to therapy, where haemodynamic flow is commonly characterised by increased vortical and helical formations.

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