Flow Assessment Through Four Heart Valves Simultaneously Using 3-Dimensional 3-Directional Velocity-Encoded Magnetic Resonance Imaging With Retrospective Valve Tracking in Healthy Volunteers and Patients With Valvular Regurgitation


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Abstract

Objectives:To validate 3-dimensional (3D) 3-directional velocity-encoded (VE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for flow assessment through all 4 heart valves simultaneously with retrospective valve-tracking during off-line analysis in healthy volunteers and in patients with valvular regurgitation.Material and Methods:Three-dimensional 3-directional VE MRI was performed in 22 healthy volunteers and in 29 patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy who were suspected of valvular regurgitation and net flow volumes through the 4 heart valves were compared. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated for each valve in 10 healthy volunteers and in 10 regurgitant valves to assess intra- and interobserver agreement for assessment of respectively net flow volumes and regurgitation fraction.Results:In healthy volunteers, the average net flow volume through the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve, and pulmonary valve was 85 ± 20 mL, 85 ± 21 mL, 83 ± 19 mL, 82 ± 21 mL, respectively. Strong correlations between net flow volumes through the 4 heart valves were observed (intraclass correlation coefficients [ICC] 0.93–0.95) and the coefficient of variance (CV) was small (6%–9%). The repeated analysis by the same observer and by a second observer yielded good agreement for measurement of net flow volumes (ICC: 0.93–0.99 and CV: 3%–7%). Strong correlations between the net flow volumes through the 4 heart valves were also observed in the patients with valvular regurgitation (ICC: 0.85–0.95 and CV: 7%–18%). The average net flow volume through the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve, and pulmonary valve was 63 ± 20 mL, 63 ± 20 mL, 63 ± 20 mL, 63 ± 20 mL, respectively. Furthermore, the intra- and interobserver agreement for assessment of regurgitation fraction was good (ICC: 0.86 and 0.85, CV: 12% and 13%).Conclusions:Flow assessment using 3D 3-directional VE MR with retrospective valve-tracking during off-line analysis enables accurate quantification of net flow volumes through 4 heart valves within a single acquisition in healthy volunteers and in patients with valvular regurgitation.

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