Background: We measured by cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) main and branch pulmonary artery diameters and cross sectional areas in diastole and systole in order to establish normal ranges and the effects on them of age, gender and body surface area (BSA). Documentation of normal ranges provides a reference for research and clinical investigation in the fields of congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension and connective tissue disorders.
Methods: We recruited 120 healthy volunteers: ten males (M) and ten females (F) in each decile between 20 and 79 years, imaging them in a 1.5 Tesla CMR system. Scout acquisitions guided the placement of steady state free precession cine acquisitions transecting the main, right and left pulmonary arteries (MPA, RPA and LPA). Cross sections were rarely quite circular.
Results: From all subjects, the means of the greater and lesser orthogonal diastolic diameters in mm were: MPA, 22.9 ± 2.4 (M) and 21.2 ± 2.1 (F), RPA 16.6 ± 2.8 (M) and 14.7 ± 2.2 (F), and LPA 17.3 ± 2.5 (M) and 15.9 ± 2.0 (F), p < 0.0001 between genders in each case. The diastolic diameters increased with BSA and age, and plots are provided for reference. From measurements of minimum diastolic and maximum systolic cross sectional areas, the % systolic distensions were: MPA 42.7 ± 17.2 (M) and 41.8 ± 15.7 (F), RPA 50.6 ± 16.9 (M) and 48.2 ± 14.5 (F), LPA 35.6 ± 10.1 (M) and 35.2 ± 10.3 (F), and there was a decrease in distension with age (p < 0.0001 for the MPA).
Conclusions: Measurements of MPA, RPA and LPA by cine CMR are provided for reference, with documentation of their changes with age and BSA.