Background: Four-dimensional (D) flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is limited by time-consuming and nonstandardized data analysis. We aimed to test the efficiency and interobserver reproducibility of a dedicated 4D flow MRI analysis workflow. Materials and Methods: Thirty retrospectively identified patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV, age=47.8±11.8 y, 9 male) and 30 healthy controls (age=48.8±12.5 y, 21 male) underwent Aortic 4D flow MRI using 1.5 and 3 T MRI systems. Two independent readers performed 4D flow analysis on a dedicated workstation including preprocessing, aorta segmentation, and placement of four 2D planes throughout the aorta for quantification of net flow, peak velocity, and regurgitant fraction. 3D flow visualization using streamlines was used to grade aortic valve outflow jets and extent of helical flow. Results: 4D flow analysis workflow time for both observers: 5.0±1.4 minutes per case (range=3 to 10 min). Valve outflow jets and flow derangement was visible in all 30 BAV patients (both observers). Net flow, peak velocity, and regurgitant fraction was significantly elevated in BAV patients compared with controls except for regurgitant fraction in plane 4 (91.1±29.7 vs. 62.6±19.6 mL/s, 37.1% difference; 121.7±49.7 vs. 90.9±26.4 cm/s, 28.9% difference; 9.3±10.1% vs. 2.0±3.4%, 128.0% difference, respectively; P<0.001). Excellent intraclass correlation coefficient agreement for net flow: 0.979, peak velocity: 0.931, and regurgitant fraction: 0.928. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the potential of an efficient data analysis workflow to perform standardized 4D flow MRI processing in under 10 minutes and with good-to-excellent reproducibility for flow and velocity quantification in the thoracic aorta.
- Bicuspid aortic valve
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine