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Eur Radiol. 2019 Jan 7. doi: 10.1007/s00330-018-5940-y. [Epub ahead of print]

Fetal dynamic phase-contrast MR angiography using ultrasound gating and comparison with Doppler ultrasound measurements.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany. b.schoennagel@uke.de.
2
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.
3
Department of Hematology/Oncology, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA, USA.
4
Philips GmbH, Röntgenstrasse 22, 22335, Hamburg, Germany.
5
Department of Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the feasibility of fetal phase-contrast (PC)-MR angiography of the descending aorta (AoD) using an MR-compatible Doppler ultrasound sensor (DUS) for fetal cardiac gating and to compare velocimetry with Doppler ultrasound measurements.

METHODS:

In this prospective study, 2D PC-MR angiography was performed in 12 human fetuses (mean gestational age 32.8 weeks) using an MR-compatible DUS for gating of the fetal heart at 1.5 T. Peak flow velocities in the fetal AoD were compared with Doppler ultrasound measurements performed on the same day. Reproducibility of PC-MR measurements was tested by repeated PC-MR in five fetuses.

RESULTS:

Dynamic PC-MR angiography in the AoD was successfully performed in all fetuses using the DUS, with an average fetal heart rate of 140 bpm (range 129-163). Time-velocity curves revealed typical arterial blood flow patterns. PC-MR mean flow velocity and mean flux were 21.2 cm/s (range 8.6-36.8) and 8.4 ml/s (range 3.2-14.6), respectively. A positive association between PC-MR mean flux and stroke volume with gestational age was obtained (r = 0.66, p = 0.02 and r = 0.63, p = 0.03). PC-MR and Doppler ultrasound peak velocities revealed a highly significant correlation (r = 0.8, p < 0.002). Peak velocities were lower for PC-MR with 69.1 cm/s (range 39-125) compared with 96.7 cm/s (range 60-142) for Doppler ultrasound (p < 0.001). Reproducibility of PC-MR was high (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

The MR-compatible DUS for fetal cardiac gating allows for PC-MR angiography in the fetal AoD. Comparison with Doppler ultrasound revealed a highly significant correlation of peak velocities with underestimation of PC-MR velocities. This new technique for direct fetal cardiac gating indicates the potential of PC-MR angiography for assessing fetal hemodynamics.

KEY POINTS:

• The developed MR-compatible Doppler ultrasound sensor allows direct fetal cardiac gating and can be used for prenatal dynamic cardiovascular MRI. • The MR-compatible Doppler ultrasound sensor was successfully applied to perform intrauterine phase-contrast MR angiography of the fetal aorta, which revealed a highly significant correlation with Doppler ultrasound measurements. • As fetal flow hemodynamics is an important parameter in the diagnosis and management of fetal pathologies, fetal phase-contrast MR angiography may offer an alternative imaging method in addition to Doppler ultrasound and develop as a second line tool in the evaluation of fetal flow hemodynamics.

KEYWORDS:

Blood flow velocity; Fetal research; Magnetic resonance angiography; Ultrasonography, Doppler

PMID:
30617486
DOI:
10.1007/s00330-018-5940-y

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