Background: The aim of this study is to quantify the frequency content of the blood velocity waveform in different body regions by means of phase contrast (PC) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and Doppler ultrasound. The highest frequency component of the spectrum is inversely proportional to the ideal temporal resolution to be used for the acquisition of flow-sensitive imaging (Shannon-Nyquist theorem).
Methods: Ten healthy subjects (median age 33y, range 24-40) were scanned with a high-temporal-resolution PC-CMR and with Doppler ultrasound on three body regions (carotid arteries, aorta and femoral arteries). Furthermore, 111 patients (median age 61y) with mild to moderate arterial hypertension and 58 patients with aortic aregurgitation, atrial septal defect, or repaired tetralogy of Fallot underwent aortic CMR scanning. The frequency power distribution was calculated for each location and the maximum frequency component, fmax, was extracted and expected limits for the general population were inferred.
Results: In the healthy subject cohort, significantly different fmax values were found across the different body locations, but they were nonsignificant across modalities. No significant correlation was found with heart rate. The measured fmax ranged from 7.7 ± 1.1 Hz in the ascending aorta, up to 12.3 ± 5.1 Hz in the femoral artery (considering PC-CMR data). The calculated upper boundary for the general population ranged from 11.0 Hz to 27.5 Hz, corresponding to optimal temporal resolutions of 45 ms and 18 ms, respectively. The patient cohort exhibited similar values for the frequencies in the aorta, with no correlation between blood pressure and frequency content.
Conclusions: The temporal resolution of PC-CMR acquisitions can be adapted based on the scanned body region and in the adult population, should approach approximately 20 ms in the peripheral arteries and 40 ms in the aorta.
Trial registration: This study presents results from a restrospective analysis of the clinical study NCT01870739 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
Keywords: Doppler ultrasound; Frequency content; Phase contrast MRI; Temporal resolution.