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Radiology. 2011 Jul;260(1):79-87. doi: 10.1148/radiol.11101844. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Rapid flow assessment of congenital heart disease with high-spatiotemporal-resolution gated spiral phase-contrast MR imaging.

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Centre for Medical Image Computing, UCL Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering, London, England.



To validate a prospectively triggered spiral phase-contrast magnetic resonance (MR) sequence accelerated with sensitivity encoding (SENSE) in a population of children and adults with congenital heart disease.


The local research ethics committee approved this study, and written consent was obtained from all patients or guardians. Stroke volumes were quantified in 40 patients (mean age ± standard deviation: 21.4 years ± 13.8, age range: 3.0-61.3 years; 22 male patients aged 3.0-38.0 years [mean age, 17.2 years ± 10.5], 18 female patients aged 4.7-61.3 years [mean age, 26.6 years ± 15.9]) with congenital heart disease in the aorta (n = 40), main pulmonary artery (n = 38), right pulmonary artery (n = 22), and left pulmonary artery (n = 24). Stroke volumes were obtained with (a) breath-hold spiral phase-contrast MR imaging with SENSE, (b) conventional breath-hold cartesian phase-contrast MR imaging, and (c) reference free-breathing phase-contrast MR imaging. Stroke volumes were compared by using repeated-measures analysis of variance, Bland-Altman analysis, and correlation coefficients.


Imaging time with the breath-hold spiral phase-contrast MR sequence was significantly lower than that with the conventional breath-hold phase-contrast MR sequence (~5 seconds vs ~16 seconds, respectively; P < .0001). There was excellent agreement in stroke volumes in all vessels between the reference free-breathing sequence (mean volume, 60.3 mL ± 27.3) and the two breath-hold sequences-spiral SENSE phase-contrast MR imaging (mean volume, 59.5 mL ± 27.1; P < .001) and conventional cartesian phase-contrast MR imaging (mean volume, 59.8 mL ± 27.6; P = .268). The limits of agreement were smaller with the spiral breath-hold sequence than with the conventional breath-hold sequence (-4.4 mL, 2.9 mL vs -10.3 mL, 9.3 mL, respectively); correlation was similar (r = 0.998 vs r = 0.984, respectively).


Flow volumes can be accurately and reliably quantified by using a spiral SENSE phase-contrast MR sequence, with high spatiotemporal resolution obtained in a short breath hold.

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