AUTHORS: Ma L, Yerly J, Di Sopra L, Piccini D, Lee J, DiCarlo A, Passman R, Greenland P, Kim D, Stuber M, Markl M

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 85(6): 3125-3139, June 2021



This study used a 5D flow framework to explore the influence of arrhythmia on thrombogenic hemodynamic parameters in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).


A fully self-gated, 3D radial, highly accelerated free-running 5D flow sequence with interleaved four-point velocity-encoding was acquired using an in vitro arrhythmic flow phantom and in 25 patients with a history of AF (68 ± 8 y, 6 female). Self-gating signals were used to calculate AF burden, bin data, and tag each k-space line with its RRLength . Data were binned as an RR-resolved dataset with four RR-interval bins (RR1-RR4, short-to-long) for compressed sensing reconstruction. AF burden was calculated as interquartile range of all intrascan RR-intervals divided by median RR-interval, and left atrial (LA) stasis as the percent of the cardiac cycle where the velocity was <0.1 m/s.


In vitro results demonstrated successful recovery of RR-binned flow curves using RR-resolved 5D flow compared to a real-time PC reference standard. In vivo, 5D flow was acquired in 8:48 minutes. AF burden was significantly correlated with 5D flow-derived peak (PV) and mean (MV) velocity and stasis (|ρ| = 0.54-0.75, P < .001). Sensitivity analyses determined a threshold for low versus high AF burden at 9.7%. High burden patients had increased LA mean stasis (up to +42%, P < .01), and lower MV and PV (-30%, -40.6%, respectively, P < .01). RR4 deviated furthest from respiratory-resolved reconstruction (end-expiration) with increased mean stasis (7.6% ± 14.0%, P = .10) and decreased PV (-12.7 ± 14.2%, P = .09).


RR-resolved 5D flow can capture temporal and RR-resolved 3D hemodynamics in <10 minutes and offers a novel approach to investigate arrhythmias.

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