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Physiology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

MRI of Arterial Flow Reserve in Patients with Intermittent Claudication: Feasibility and Initial Experience
Published: Thursday, March 08, 2012
Author: Bas Versluis et al.

by Bas Versluis, Marjolein H. G. Dremmen, Patty J. Nelemans, Joachim E. Wildberger, Geert-Willem Schurink, Tim Leiner, Walter H. Backes


The aim of this work was to develop a MRI method to determine arterial flow reserve in patients with intermittent claudication and to investigate whether this method can discriminate between patients and healthy control subjects.


Ten consecutive patients with intermittent claudication and 10 healthy control subjects were included. All subjects underwent vector cardiography triggered quantitative 2D cine MR phase-contrast imaging to obtain flow waveforms of the popliteal artery at rest and during reactive hyperemia. Resting flow, maximum hyperemic flow and absolute flow reserve were determined and compared between the two groups by two independent MRI readers. Also, interreader reproducibility of flow measures was reported.


Resting flow was lower in patients compared to controls (4.9±1.6 and 11.1±3.2 mL/s in patients and controls, respectively (p<0.01)). Maximum hyperemic flow was 7.3±2.9 and 16.4±3.2 mL/s (p<0.01) and the absolute flow reserve was 2.4±1.6 and 5.3±1.3 mL/s (p<0.01), respectively in patients and controls. The interreader coefficient of variation was below 10% for all measures in both patients and controls.


Quantitative 2D MR cine phase-contrast imaging is a promising method to determine flow reserve measures in patients with peripheral arterial disease and can be helpful to discriminate patients with intermittent claudication from healthy controls.