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Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 Jan;27(1):38-47. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2008.05.016. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Automated measurement and classification of pulmonary blood-flow velocity patterns using phase-contrast MRI and correlation analysis.

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Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, and Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


An automated method was evaluated to detect blood flow in small pulmonary arteries and classify each as artery or vein, based on a temporal correlation analysis of their blood-flow velocity patterns. The method was evaluated using velocity-sensitive phase-contrast magnetic resonance data collected in vitro with a pulsatile flow phantom and in vivo in 11 human volunteers. The accuracy of the method was validated in vitro, which showed relative velocity errors of 12% at low spatial resolution (four voxels per diameter), but was reduced to 5% at increased spatial resolution (16 voxels per diameter). The performance of the method was evaluated in vivo according to its reproducibility and agreement with manual velocity measurements by an experienced radiologist. In all volunteers, the correlation analysis was able to detect and segment peripheral pulmonary vessels and distinguish arterial from venous velocity patterns. The intrasubject variability of repeated measurements was approximately 10% of peak velocity, or 2.8 cm/s root-mean-variance, demonstrating the high reproducibility of the method. Excellent agreement was obtained between the correlation analysis and radiologist measurements of pulmonary velocities, with a correlation of R2=0.98 (P<.001) and a slope of 0.99+/-0.01.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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