Construction of a protocol for measuring blood flow by two-dimensional phase-contrast MRA

J Magn Reson Imaging. 1999 Jan;9(1):119-27. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1522-2586(199901)9:1<119::aid-jmri16>;2-f.


Our aim is to describe and demonstrate the steps we have found to be useful in the construction and evaluation of protocols for triggered and nontriggered measurement of blood flow by two-dimensional phase-contrast magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). To achieve this goal, we start with a survey of factors governing the accuracy (validity) and precision (repeatability) of MR flow measurements. This knowledge, combined with prior information regarding the diameter of the target vessel and the prevailing flow conditions, is then employed to define a protocol for measuring flow with negligible systematic error. In the absence of a gold standard for in vivo flow measurements, the protocol is subsequently validated for a range of flow conditions by representative phantom experiments. Precision is then calculated from the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of blood in the accompanying magnitude images or, less conveniently, estimated from the standard deviation of repeated measurements. The desired precision is finally achieved by adjusting the appropriate SNR parameters. All steps involved in protocol development are demonstrated for both flow-independent and flow-dependent acquisitions.

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology