Aortic wall shear stress in Marfan syndrome

Julia Geiger*, Raoul Arnold, Lena Herzer, Daniel Hirtler, Zoran Stankovic, Max Russe, Mathias Langer, Michael Markl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to quantify changes in thoracic aortic wall shear stress (WSS) in asymptomatic patients with Marfan syndrome (MFS) compared with healthy controls. WSS in the thoracic aorta was quantified based on time-resolved 3D phase contrast MRI with three-directional velocity encoding (4D flow MRI, temporal resolution ∼44 ms, spatial resolution ∼2.5 mm) in 24 patients with confirmed MFS (age = 18 ± 12 years) and in 12 older healthy volunteers (age = 25 ± 3 years). Diameters of the thoracic aorta normalized to body surface area were similar for both groups. Peak systolic velocity, absolute WSS, time-averaged WSS, circumferential WSS, peak systolic WSS, and WSS eccentricity were calculated in eight analysis planes distributed along the thoracic aorta. Plane-wise comparison revealed significant differences between MFS patients and volunteers in the proximal ascending aorta for peak systolic velocities (1.11 ± 0.23 m/s vs. 1.34 ± 0.18 m/s, P = 0.004) and circumferential WSS (0.14 ± 0.03 N/m2 vs. 0.11 ± 0.02 N/m2, P = 0.007). WSS eccentricity was altered in most of the ascending aorta and proximal arch (P = 0.009-0.020). MFS patients demonstrated segmental differences in peak systolic WSS with a significantly higher WSS at the inner curvature in the proximal ascending aorta and at the anterior part in the more distal ascending aorta (P < 0.01). These findings indicate differences in WSS associated with MFS despite similar aortic dimensions compared to controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1144
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • 4D flow
  • Marfan syndrome
  • aorta
  • blood flow
  • velocity mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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