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Radiology. 1993 Apr;187(1):253-6.

Blood flow in the portal vein: velocity quantitation with phase-contrast MR angiography.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh NMR Institute, Pa.


Quantitative phase-contrast magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of the portal vein was prospectively evaluated in 79 fasting patients and 23 healthy volunteers. Images were obtained during a 12-second breath-hold acquisition in the coronal (n = 102) and axial (n = 11) planes. Pathologic correlation was available in 55 of 79 patients and included findings of cholangiocarcinoma, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatitis, and metastatic disease. Forty-one patients had correlative Doppler ultrasound (US) findings. MR and US findings correlated as to flow direction in all cases. In nine patients, Doppler US velocity measurements were available and closely correlated with MR findings. A comparison of axial and coronal portal venous phase-contrast measurements in 11 patients revealed no substantial difference with regard to the plane used. Quantitative phase-contrast MR angiography is a simple and rapid technique for the assessment of portal venous patency, flow direction, and flow velocity and, combined with high-resolution conventional MR imaging, may obviate the current use of both computed tomographic and US examinations.

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