Quantification and comparison of 4D-flow MRI-derived wall shear stress and MRE-derived wall stiffness of the abdominal aorta

Arunark Kolipaka*, Venkata Sita Priyanka Illapani, Prateek Kalra, Julio Garcia, Xiaokui Mo, Michael Markl, Richard D. White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: Aortic wall shear stress (WSSFlow) alters endothelial function, which in-turn changes aortic wall stiffness leading to remodeling in different disease states. Therefore, the aims of this study are to determine normal physiologic correlations between: (1) Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE)-derived aortic wall stiffness (WSMRE) and WSSFlow; (2) WSMRE and mean velocity; (3) WSMRE and pulse wave velocity (PWV);(4) WSMRE and mean peak flow; and (5) WSMRE, WSSFlow and age using MRE and 4D-flow MRI in the abdominal aorta in healthy human subjects. Materials and Methods: Cardiac-gated aortic MRE and 4D-flow MRI data were acquired in 24 healthy volunteers using a 3 Tesla scanner. For MRE, 70 Hz external motion was applied to obtain wave images in all spatial directions in a separate breathhold. Whereas, 4D-flow data was acquired under free-breathing. Wave images in all the directions were processed to obtain three-dimensional-weighted stiffness map at end-systole (ES). WSSFlow, mean velocity, PWV and mean peak flow were obtained using 4D-flow data. Pearson correlation was performed to determine association between all variables. Results: A significant negative correlation was observed between: (1) ES WSMRE and WSSFlow in both axial (r = -0.62; P = 0.006) and circumferential (r = -0.52; P = 0.016) directions; (2) ES WSMRE and mean velocity (r = -0.58; P = 0.012); and (3) age and WSSFlow in both axial (r = -0.71; P < 0.0001) and circumferential (r = -0.58; P = 0.0012) directions. A significant positive correlation was observed between: (1) ES WSMRE and PWV (r = 0.69; P < 0.0001); (2) ES WSMRE and mean peak flow (r = 0.53; P = 0.016); and (3) ES WSMRE and age (r = 0.63;P = 0.006). Conclusion: The negative significant correlation between aortic WSSFlow and WSMRE in normal volunteers demonstrates a relationship between WSMRE and WSSFlow. Level of Evidence: 2. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2017;45:771–778.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • 4D-flow MRI
  • MR elastography
  • aortic wall stiffness
  • wall shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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