Automated valve tracking reduces time, variability in 4D flow MRI

Automated Cardiac Valve Tracking for Flow Quantification with Four-dimensional Flow MRI

When evaluating patients with congenital heart disease and valvular heart disease, quantification of blood flow through the heart valves is commonly performed with cardiac MRI. Quantifying flow though the ascending aorta and pulmonary artery is done using two-dimensional (2D) flow MRI. However, quantification of blood flow through the tricuspid valve and mitral valve is more complicated due to valve motion during the cardiac cycle. Four-dimensional (4D) flow MRI is capable to track the motion of the valves over the cardiac cycle and thereby offers the possibility to quantify flow across the valves accurately. The plane that is used to quantify the flow is adapted at every phase of the cardiac cycle to have the optimal location and angle of analysis.

In the latest issue of Radiology, Kamphuis and colleagues have presented the results of a study comparing the automatic valve tracking algorithm from Pie Medical Imaging (Caas MR 4D Flow) to manual valve tracking (“Automated Cardiac Valve Tracking for Flow Quantification with Four-dimensional Flow MRI””). The study involved 114 4D flow MRI cases. They showed that automatic valve tracking has markedly shorter analysis times compared to manual valve tracking (14 minutes vs. 25 minutes). Next to this, significantly less variability in net forward volume measurements across the valves were found. Increasing the reproducibility of these measurements in medical imaging is critical to improving the precision of patient case. The potential impact of this work on the treatment of patients with tricuspid and mitral valve disease is significant.

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