Detecting Aortic Valve-Induced Abnormal Flow with Seismocardiography and Cardiac MRI

Ethan M.I. Johnson*, J. Alex Heller, Florencia Garcia Vicente, Roberto Sarnari, Daniel Gordon, Patrick M. McCarthy, Alex J. Barker, Mozziyar Etemadi, Michael Markl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cardiac MRI (CMR) techniques offer non-invasive visualizations of cardiac morphology and function. However, imaging can be time-consuming and complex. Seismocardiography (SCG) measures physical vibrations transmitted through the chest from the beating heart and pulsatile blood flow. SCG signals can be acquired quickly and easily, with inexpensive electronics. This study investigates relationships between CMR metrics of function and SCG signal features. Same-day CMR and SCG data were collected from 28 healthy adults and 6 subjects with aortic valve disease history. Correlation testing and statistical median/decile calculations were performed with data from the healthy cohort. MR-quantified flow and function parameters in the healthy cohort correlated with particular SCG energy levels, such as peak aortic velocity with low-frequency SCG (coefficient 0.43, significance 0.02) and peak flow with high-frequency SCG (coefficient 0.40, significance 0.03). Valve disease-induced flow abnormalities in patients were visualized with MRI, and corresponding abnormalities in SCG signals were identified. This investigation found significant cross-modality correlations in cardiac function metrics and SCG signals features from healthy subjects. Additionally, through comparison to normative ranges from healthy subjects, it observed correspondences between pathological flow and abnormal SCG. This may support development of an easy clinical test used to identify potential aortic flow abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1779-1792
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • 4D flow MRI
  • Aortic valve disease
  • Valve disease seismocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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