In vivo wall shear stress measurements using phase-contrast MRI

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2007 Sep;5(5):927-38. doi: 10.1586/14779072.5.5.927.


There is growing evidence to suggest that endothelial biology and atherosclerosis depend on arterial wall shear stress (WSS). We review the existing literature on in vivo measurements of WSS in healthy individuals using phase-contrast MRI, which is a promising, noninvasive technique for determining various blood flow characteristics. WSS data exist for the following arteries: carotid, brachial, aorta and femoral. Measured values indicate that WSS is site specific, a finding which opposes the notion that physiological WSS values are maintained at a constant magnitude in all parts of the arterial system. Among the WSS values obtained at the same site by different investigators there is qualitative agreement; however, differences exist in absolute values mainly due to the dependence on the method used to obtain WSS values from velocity data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / physiopathology
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Blood Viscosity
  • Contrast Media*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Reference Values
  • Shear Strength*
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Contrast Media