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Determination of aortic stiffness using 4D flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance

A population-based study
: Harloff, A.; Mirzaee, H.; Lodemann, T.; Hagenlocher, P.; Wehrum, T.; Stuplich, J.; Hennemuth, A.; Hennig, J.; Grundmann, S.; Vach, W.

Fulltext ()

Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 20 (2018), No.1, Art.43, 11 pp.
ISSN: 1097-6647 (print)
ISSN: 1532-429X (online)
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Background: Increased aortic stiffness is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. Optimal measurement is highly beneficial for the detection of atherosclerosis and the management of patients at risk. Thus, it was our purpose to selectively measure aortic stiffness using a novel imaging method and to provide reference values from a population-based study. Methods: One hundred twenty six inhabitants of Freiburg, Germany, between 20 and 80 years prospectively underwent 3 Tesla cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) of the thoracic aorta. 4D flow CMR (spatial/temporal resolution 2mm3/20ms) was executed to calculate aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) in m/s using dedicated software. In addition, we calculated distensibility coefficients (DC) using 2D CINE CMR imaging of the ascending (AAo) and descending aorta (DAo). Segmental aortic diameter and thickness of aortic plaques were determined by 3D T1 weighted CMR (spatial resolution 1mm3). Results: PWV increased from 4.93 ± 0.54 m/s in 20–30 year-old to 8.06 ± 1.03 m/s in 70–80 year-old subjects. PWV was significantly lower in women compared to men (p < 0.0001). Increased blood pressure (systolic r = 0.36, p < 0.0001; diastolic r = 0.33, p = 0.0001; mean arterial pressure r = 0.37, p < 0.0001) correlated with PWV after adjustment for age and gender. Finally, PWV increased with increasing diameter of the aorta (ascending aorta r = 0.20, p = 0.026; aortic arch r = 0.24, p = 0.009; descending aorta r = 0.26, p = 0.004). Correlation of PWV and DC of the AAo and DAo or the mean of both was high (r = 0.69, r = 0.68, r = 0.73; p < 0.001). Conclusions: 4D flow CMR was successfully applied to calculate aortic PWV and thus aortic stiffness. Findings showed a high correlation with distensibility coefficients representing local compliance of the aorta. Our novel method and reference data for PWV may provide a reliable biomarker for the identification of patients with underlying cardiovascular disease and optimal guidance of future treatment in studies or clinical routine.