J. Keegan, P.D. Gatehouse, Guang-Zhong Yang, D.N. Firmin
To develop a method of correcting both right and left coronary artery flow velocities for the through-plane motion of the vessel, in order to allow details in the temporal flow profiles to be viewed.
Materials and Methods
The methods developed use selective excitation and velocity mapping of the epicardial fat surrounding the artery, either in a separate acquisition (temporal resolution = 22 msec) or interleaved with the water-excitation acquisition (temporal resolution = 44 msec) used to determine coronary blood flow velocities. The two methods were compared in 10 right and 13 left coronary arteries in healthy volunteers.
For the right coronary arteries, correction for through-plane motion significantly reduces the mean systolic flow velocity (75.3 mm/second vs. 90.0 mm/second, P < 0.01), while the mean diastolic flow velocity is unchanged (96.8 mm/second vs. 94.5 mm/second, P = ns). The resulting profiles are biphasic, with approximately equal flow in systole and diastole. For the left arteries, correction for through-plane motion reduces the mean systolic flow velocity (25.0 mm/second vs. 72.8 mm/second, P < 0.001), resulting in the expected diastolic predominant flow profiles. For the right arteries, there were no significant differences in the mean systolic and mean diastolic velocities after correction with the separate fat-excitation acquisition, and after correction the poorer temporal resolution combined water excitation/fat excitation acquisition. However, for the left coronary arteries, the combined water excitation/fat excitation acquisition resulted in a slight reduction in the mean diastolic velocity (121.5 mm/second vs. 130.9 mm/second, P < 0.05).
Selective excitation of the surrounding epicardial fat enables through-plane correction of both left and right coronary flow velocities, enabling the temporal details of flow velocity to be viewed.With a combined WE/FE acquisition, this can be performed without extending the study duration; however, the reduced temporal resolution and temporal mismatch of the excitations results in a blunting of rapidly changing flow profiles. As such, it may be less suitable for the left coronary artery, which has a greater range of through-plane motion than the right, and correction using separate WE and FE acquisitions, or the adjacent myocardium, may be preferable.
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