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Am J Physiol. 1996 Oct;271(4 Pt 2):H1643-55.

Modeling regional myocardial flows from residue functions of an intravascular indicator.

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Center for Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


The purpose of the present study was to determine the accuracy and the sources of error in estimating regional myocardial blood flow and vascular volume from experimental residue functions obtained by external imaging of an intravascular indicator. For the analysis, a spatially distributed mathematical model was used that describes transport through a multiple-pathway vascular system. Reliability of the parameter estimates was tested by using sensitivity function analysis and by analyzing "pseudodata": realistic model solutions to which random noise was added. Increased uncertainty in the estimates of flow in the pseudodata was observed when flow was near maximal physiological values, when dispersion of the vascular input was more than twice the dispersion of the microvascular system for an impulse input, and when the sampling frequency was < 2 samples/s. Estimates of regional blood volume were more reliable than estimates of flow. Failure to account for normal flow heterogeneity caused systematic underestimates of flow. To illustrate the method used for estimating regional flow, magnetic resonance imaging was used to obtain myocardial residue functions after left atrial injections of polylysine-Gd-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid, an intravascular contrast agent, in anesthetized chronically instrumental dogs. To test the increase in dispersion of the vascular input after central venous injections, magnetic resonance imaging data obtained in human subjects were compared with left ventricular blood pool curves obtained in dogs. It is concluded that if coronary flow is in the normal range, when the vascular input is a short bolus, and the heart is imaged at least once per cardiac cycle, then regional myocardial blood flow and vascular volume may be reliably estimated by analyzing residue functions of an intravascular indicator, providing a noninvasive approach with potential clinical application.

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