Noninvasive Measurement of Pressure Gradient Across a Coronary Stenosis using Phase Contrast -MRI

Deng Z et al.



To investigate the feasibility of blood pressure difference measurement, ΔP, across the coronary artery using phase contrast (PC)-MRI for potential noninvasive assessment of the functional significance of coronary artery stenosis.


Three-directional velocities in the coronary arteries acquired using 2D-PC-MRI were used with the Navier-Stokes equations to derive ΔP. Repeat phantom studies were performed to assess the reproducibility of flow velocity and ΔP. ΔP derived using PC-MRI (ΔPMR ) and that obtained using pressure transducer (ΔPPT ) were compared. Reproducibility of coronary flow velocity was assessed in healthy controls (n = 11). Patients with suspected coronary artery disease (n = 6) were studied to evaluate the feasibility of ΔPMR measurement across a coronary stenosis.


Phantom: Good overall reproducibility of flow velocity and ΔP measurements and excellent correlation (ΔPMR vs ΔPPT ) was observed: intraclass correlation (ICC) of 0.95(Vz ), 0.72(Vx ), 0.73(Vy ), and 0.87(ΔPMR ) and R2 = 0.94, respectively. Human: Good reproducibility of coronary flow velocity was observed: ICC of 0.94/0.95(Vz ), 0.76/0.74(Vx ), and 0.80/0.77(Vy ) at cardiac phase 1/2. Significant (p = 0.025) increase in ΔPMR was observed in patients (6.40 ± 4.43 mmHg) versus controls (0.70 ± 0.57 mmHg).


ΔPMR in the coronary arteries is feasible. Upon further validation using the invasive measure, ΔPMR has the potential for noninvasive assessment of coronary artery stenosis.

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