Fully-automated deep learning-based flow quantification of 2D CINE phase contrast MRI

Maurice Pradella*, Michael B. Scott, Muhammad Omer, Seth K. Hill, Lisette Lockhart, Xin Yi, Alborz Amir-Khalili, Alireza Sojoudi, Bradley D. Allen, Ryan Avery, Michael Markl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Time-resolved, 2D-phase-contrast MRI (2D-CINE-PC-MRI) enables in vivo blood flow analysis. However, accurate vessel contour delineation (VCD) is required to achieve reliable results. We sought to evaluate manual analysis (MA) compared to the performance of a deep learning (DL) application for fully-automated VCD and flow quantification and corrected semi-automated analysis (corSAA). Methods: We included 97 consecutive patients (age = 52.9 ± 16 years, 41 female) with 2D-CINE-PC-MRI imaging on 1.5T MRI systems at sinotubular junction (STJ), and 28/97 also received 2D-CINE-PC at main pulmonary artery (PA). A cardiovascular radiologist performed MA (reference) and corSAA (built-in tool) in commercial software for all cardiac time frames (median: 20, total contours per analysis: 2358 STJ, 680 PA). DL-analysis automatically performed VCD, followed by net flow (NF) and peak velocity (PV) quantification. Contours were compared using Dice similarity coefficients (DSC). Discrepant cases (> ± 10 mL or > ± 10 cm/s) were reviewed in detail. Results: DL was successfully applied to 97% (121/125) of the 2D-CINE-PC-MRI series (STJ: 95/97, 98%, PA: 26/28, 93%). Compared to MA, mean DSC were 0.91 ± 0.02 (DL), 0.94 ± 0.02 (corSAA) at STJ, and 0.85 ± 0.08 (DL), 0.93 ± 0.02 (corSAA) at PA; this indicated good to excellent DL-performance. Flow quantification revealed similar NF at STJ (p = 0.48) and PA (p > 0.05) between methods while PV assessment was significantly different (STJ: p < 0.001, PA: p = 0.04). A detailed review showed noisy voxels in MA and corSAA impacted PV results. Overall, DL analysis compared to human assessments was accurate in 113/121 (93.4%) cases. Conclusions: Fully-automated DL-analysis of 2D-CINE-PC-MRI provided flow quantification at STJ and PA at expert level in > 93% of cases with results being available instantaneously. Key Points: • Deep learning performed flow quantification on clinical 2D-CINE-PC series at the sinotubular junction and pulmonary artery at the expert level in > 93% of cases. • Location detection and contouring of the vessel boundaries were performed fully-automatic with results being available instantaneously compared to human assessments which approximately takes three minutes per location. • The evaluated tool indicates usability in daily practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1707-1718
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Blood flow
  • Blood flow velocity
  • Deep learning
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pulmonary artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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