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Magn Reson Med. 2009 Feb;61(2):409-17. doi: 10.1002/mrm.21861.

Phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging measurements in intracranial aneurysms in vivo of flow patterns, velocity fields, and wall shear stress: comparison with computational fluid dynamics.

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Radiology Service, VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.


Evolution of intracranial aneurysms is known to be related to hemodynamic forces such as wall shear stress (WSS) and maximum shear stress (MSS). Estimation of these parameters can be performed using numerical simulations with computational fluid dynamics (CFD), but can also be directly measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using a time-dependent 3D phase-contrast sequence with encoding of each of the three components of the velocity vectors (7D-MRV). To study the accuracy of 7D-MRV in estimating these parameters in vivo, in comparison with CFD, 7D-MRV and patient-specific CFD modeling was performed for 3 patients who had intracranial aneurysms. Visual and quantitative analyses of the flow pattern and distribution of velocities, MSS, and WSS were performed using the two techniques. Spearman's coefficients of correlation between the two techniques were 0.56 for the velocity field, 0.48 for MSS, and 0.59 for WSS. Visual analysis and Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement for flow pattern and velocities but large discrepancies for MSS and WSS. These results indicate that 7D-MRV can be used in vivo to measure velocity flow fields and for estimating MSS and WSS. Currently, however, this method cannot accurately quantify the latter two parameters.

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