Validation of 4D Flow CMR Against Simultaneous Invasive Hemodynamic Measurements: A Swine Study

The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Authors Kelly Stam, Raluca G. Chelu, Nikki van der Velde, Richard van Duin, Piotr Wielopolski, Koen Nieman, Daphne Merkus & Alexander Hirsch

The purpose of this study was to compare invasively measured aorta flow with 2D phase contrast flow and 4D flow measurements by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in a large animal model. Nine swine (mean weight 63 ± 4 kg) were included in the study. 4D flow CMR exams were performed on a 1.5T MRI scanner. Flow measurements were performed on 4D flow images at the aortic valve level, in the ascending aorta, and main pulmonary artery. Simultaneously, flow was measured using an invasive flow probe, placed around the ascending aorta. Additionally, standard 2D phase contrast flow and 2D left ventricular (LV) volumetric data were used for comparison. The correlations of cardiac output (CO) between the invasive flow probe, and CMR modalities were strong to very strong. CO measured by 4D flow CMR correlated better with the CO measured by the invasive flow probe than 2D flow CMR flow and volumetric LV data (4D flow CMR: Spearman’s rho = 0.86 at the aortic valve level and 0.90 at the ascending aorta level; 2D flow CMR: 0.67 at aortic valve level; LV measurements: 0.77). In addition, there tended to be a correlation between mean pulmonary artery flow and aorta flow with 4D flow (Spearman’s rho = 0.65, P = 0.07), which was absent in measurements obtained with 2D flow CMR (Spearman’s rho = 0.40, P = 0.33). This study shows that aorta flow can be accurately measured by 4D flow CMR compared to simultaneously measured invasive flow. This helps to further validate the quantitative reliability of this technique.