Quantification of collateral blood flow in coarctation of the aorta by velocity encoded cine magnetic resonance imaging.
BACKGROUND Knowledge about the volume of collateral flow provides insight into the severity of coarctation of the aorta and may be critical in planning the operative approach. There is currently no method for the quantification of collateral flow in coarctation of the aorta. In this study, we applied velocity encoded cine magnetic resonance imaging (VENC-MR) to establish the flow pattern and volume of collateral flow in the descending thoracic aorta in normal subjects and patients with coarctation, introducing a new possibility to quantify the severity of the coarctation by determining the amount of collateral flow.
METHODS AND RESULTS VENC-MR was used to measure flow in the proximal and distal descending thoracic aorta in 10 normal subjects. In 23 patients with coarctation, flow was measured near the coarctation site and above the diaphragm. Patients were divided into a group with moderate to severe coarctation and a group with mild coarctation on the basis of clinical gradient between upper and lower extremities and the estimation of the gradient across the coarctation by Doppler echocardiography. The gradient across the coarctation and the degree of anatomic narrowing were also assessed by MR imaging. In normal volunteers, VENC-MR showed a 7 +/- 6% decrease in total flow, from proximal to distal aorta. The interobserver reproducibility was 3.9% to 4.9% (mean, 4.4%). In patients with moderate to severe coarctation, VENC-MR demonstrated an 83 +/- 50% increase in total flow from proximal to distal aorta, yielding a significant change compared with normal subjects (P < .01). Patients with mild coarctation showed a normal flow pattern and no significant change in total flow. There was a significant relation between the amount of flow increase in the distal aorta and the reduction in luminal diameter at the coarctation site (r = .94) as well as the clinical gradient (r = .84).
CONCLUSIONS This study shows the normal flow pattern in the descending thoracic aorta and its reversal in coarctation due to collateral flow. Thus, VENC-MR can measure collateral flow in coarctation and serves as a unique method for providing this important measurement of the severity of coarctation of the aorta.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association