Time-resolved three-dimensional magnetic resonance velocity mapping of aortic flow in healthy volunteers and patients after valve-sparing aortic root replacement

Michael Markl, Mary T. Draney, D. Craig Miller, Jonathan M. Levin, Eric E. Williamson, Norbert J. Pelc, David H. Liang, Robert J. Herfkens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide more complete characterization of ascending aortic blood flow, including vortex formation behind the valve cusps, in healthy subjects and patients after valve-sparing aortic root replacement (David reimplantation). Methods: Time-resolved 3-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging velocity mapping was performed to analyze pulsatile blood flow by using encoded 3-directional vector fields in the thoracic aortas of 10 volunteers and 12 patients after David reimplantation using a cylindrical tube graft (T. David I) and two versions of neosinus recreation (T. David-V and T. David-V-S mod). Aortic flow was evaluated by using 3-dimensional time-resolved particle traces and velocity vector fields reformatted onto 2-dimensional planes. Semiquantitative data were derived by using a blinded grading system (0-3: 0, none; 1, minimal; 2, medium; 3, prominent) to analyze the systolic vortex formation behind the cusps, as well as retrograde and helical flow in the ascending aorta. Results: Systolic vortices were seen in both coronary sinuses of all volunteers (greater in the left sinus [2.5 ± 0.5] than the right [1.8 ± 0.8]) but in only 4 of 10 noncoronary sinuses (0.7 ± 0.9). Comparable coronary vortices were detected in all operated patients. Vorticity was minimal in the noncoronary cusp in T. David-I repairs (0.7 ± 0.7) but was prominent in T. David-V noncoronary graft pseudosinuses (1.5 ± 0.6; P = .035). Retrograde flow (P = .001) and helicity (P = .028) were found in all patients but were not distinguishable from normal values in the T. David-V-Smod patients. Conclusions: Coronary cusp vorticity was preserved after David reimplantation, regardless of neosinus creation. Increased retrograde flow and helicity were more prominent in T. David-V patients. These novel magnetic resonance imaging methods can assess the clinical implications of altered aortic flow dynamics in patients undergoing various types of valve-sparing aortic root replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-463
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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