The pulse wave velocity (PWV) of aortic blood flow is considered a surrogate for aortic compliance. A new method using phase-contrast (PC)-MRI is presented whereby the spatial and temporal profiles of axial velocity along the descending aorta can be analyzed. Seventeen young healthy volunteers (the YH group), six older healthy volunteers (the OH group), and six patients with coronary artery disease (the CAD group) were studied. PC-MRI covering the whole descending aorta was acquired, with velocity gradients encoding the in-plane velocity. From the corrected axial flow velocity profiles, PWV was determined from the slope of an intersecting line between the presystolic and early systolic phases. Furthermore, the aortic elastic modulus (Ep) was derived from the ratio of the brachial pulse pressure to the strain of the aortic diameter. The PWV increased from YH to OH to CAD (541 ± 94, 808 ± 184, 1121 ± 218 cm/s, respectively; P = 0.015 between YH and OH; P = 0.023 between OH and CAD). There was a high correlation between PWV and Ep (r = 0.861, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that age and CAD were independent risk factors for an increase in the PWV. Compared to existing methods, our method requires fewer assumptions and provides a more intuitive and objective way to estimate the PWV.
- Axial flow velocity profile
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Phase contrast
- Pulse wave velocity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology