MR-based coronary artery blood velocity measurements in patients without coronary artery disease

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Abstract

To evaluate the feasibility of MR-based coronary blood velocity measurements (MRvenc) in patients without coronary artery disease (CAD). Eighty-three patients with angiographically excluded CAD received MRvenc of the proximal segments of both coronary arteries (CAs). Using a retrospectively ECG-gated breath-hold phase-contrast FLASH sequence with high temporal resolution, flow data were technically acquirable in 137/166 (83%) CAs. Quantification and analysis of blood velocities in systole and diastole of both CAs were performed. Biphasic velocity profiles were found in 83/100 CAs. Median systolic and diastolic velocities differed significantly in LCA (19 cm/s, 24 cm/s; P<0.0001) and RCAs (14 cm/s, 16 cm/s; P<0.01). The diastolic/systolic velocity ratio was calculated in LCAs and RCAs with a median of 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. The velocity profiles of the remaining CAs were monophasic (17 CAs) or revealed severe alterations of the physiologic velocity profile with reduced flow undulations and steady velocities (37 CAs). Optimized clinical MRvenc is feasible to quantify blood velocities in the CAs. Potential indications are (1) non-invasive monitoring of patients after aortic valve reconstruction as well as (2) detection of asymptomatic CAD patients.

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