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Flow measurement by cardiovascular magnetic resonance: a multi-centre multi-vendor study of background phase offset errors that can compromise the accuracy of derived regurgitant or shunt flow measurements

  • Gatehouse, Peter D1
  • Rolf, Marijn P2
  • Graves, Martin J3
  • Hofman, Mark BM2
  • Totman, John4
  • Werner, Beat5
  • Quest, Rebecca A6
  • Liu, Yingmin7
  • von Spiczak, Jochen8
  • Dieringer, Matthias9
  • Firmin, David N1
  • van Rossum, Albert10
  • Lombardi, Massimo11
  • Schwitter, Juerg12
  • Schulz-Menger, Jeanette13
  • Kilner, Philip J1
  • 1 CMR Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 2 VU University Medical Center, Department of Physics and Medical Technology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 3 University Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK , Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • 4 King's College, Division of Imaging Sciences, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 5 University Children's Hospital, Division of Neuroradiology and Magnetic Resonance, Zurich, Switzerland , Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 6 The Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, Radiological Sciences Unit, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 7 University of Auckland, Auckland MRI Research Group, Auckland, New Zealand , Auckland (New Zealand)
  • 8 University and ETH Zurich, Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Zurich, Switzerland , Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 9 Franz-Volhard-Klinik, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany , Berlin (Germany)
  • 10 VU University Medical Center, Department of Cardiology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 11 Italian National Research Council (CNR), Magnetic Resonance Laboratory, Pisa, Italy , Pisa (Italy)
  • 12 University Hospital Zurich, Cardiac MRI Center, Zurich, Switzerland , Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 13 Charité Universitätsmedizin, Franz-Volhard-Klinik, Berlin, Germany , Berlin (Germany)
Published Article
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 14, 2010
DOI: 10.1186/1532-429X-12-5
Springer Nature


AimsCardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) allows non-invasive phase contrast measurements of flow through planes transecting large vessels. However, some clinically valuable applications are highly sensitive to errors caused by small offsets of measured velocities if these are not adequately corrected, for example by the use of static tissue or static phantom correction of the offset error. We studied the severity of uncorrected velocity offset errors across sites and CMR systems.Methods and ResultsIn a multi-centre, multi-vendor study, breath-hold through-plane retrospectively ECG-gated phase contrast acquisitions, as are used clinically for aortic and pulmonary flow measurement, were applied to static gelatin phantoms in twelve 1.5 T CMR systems, using a velocity encoding range of 150 cm/s. No post-processing corrections of offsets were implemented. The greatest uncorrected velocity offset, taken as an average over a 'great vessel' region (30 mm diameter) located up to 70 mm in-plane distance from the magnet isocenter, ranged from 0.4 cm/s to 4.9 cm/s. It averaged 2.7 cm/s over all the planes and systems. By theoretical calculation, a velocity offset error of 0.6 cm/s (representing just 0.4% of a 150 cm/s velocity encoding range) is barely acceptable, potentially causing about 5% miscalculation of cardiac output and up to 10% error in shunt measurement.ConclusionIn the absence of hardware or software upgrades able to reduce phase offset errors, all the systems tested appeared to require post-acquisition correction to achieve consistently reliable breath-hold measurements of flow. The effectiveness of offset correction software will still need testing with respect to clinical flow acquisitions.

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