Turbulent fluctuation velocity: the most significant determinant of signal loss in stenotic vessels

Magn Reson Med. 1995 Feb;33(2):193-9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.1910330208.


Studies of flow in a 90%-stenosis phantom were conducted to elucidate the parameters and mechanisms responsible for signal loss in MR angiographic images. The studies independently evaluated the effect of velocity, Reynolds number, turbulent fluctuation velocity, and turbulence intensity on the amount of post-stenotic signal loss. Results suggested that the magnitude of the turbulent fluctuation velocity, not merely the presence of turbulence or the intensity of turbulence, was the parameter that determined the extent of the signal loss. The study suggests that future flow phantom studies should be conducted with fluids having physiologic velocities and viscosities to obtain accurate levels of turbulent fluctuation velocities and hence reproduce results of in-vivo signal-loss patterns. The mechanism for signal loss is that the temporal and spatial variations of the turbulent fluctuation velocity cause a range of phases to be present within a voxel. Examination of the theoretical aspects of fluid turbulence suggest that shortening gradient durations and imaging during diastole may help reduce signal loss.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Viscosity / physiology
  • Constriction, Pathologic / diagnosis
  • Constriction, Pathologic / pathology
  • Constriction, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Glycerol
  • Hemorheology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Models, Structural
  • Nickel
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / pathology
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Water


  • Water
  • nickel chloride
  • Nickel
  • Glycerol