Measurement of coronary blood flow and flow reserve using magnetic resonance imaging

Thomas M. Grist, Jason A. Poizin, Jesus A. Bianco, Thomas K.F. Foo, Matt A. Bernstein, Charles M. Mistretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: It was the purpose of this study to demonstrate the feasibility of performing coronary artery flow and coronary flow reserve (CFR) measurements in normal human volunteers using a magnetic resonance (MR) phase contrast technique. Materials and Methods: Coronary flow rate, flow velocity, peak flow and CFR were determined at rest and during pharmacologically induced hyperemia in 10 healthy volunteers. The flow measurements were obtained during a single breath-hold by using a fast, prospectively gated, segmented k-space gradientecho phase contrast acquisition with view sharing (FAST-CARD PC) that was modified to improve sampling of the diastolic flow. Data were processed using the standard phase difference (PD) processing techniques as well as a new complex difference (CD) flow measurement method intended to improve the accuracy of flow measurements in small vessels. Results: Mean hyperemic flow velocity (40 ± 16 cm/s) and blood flow (3.9 ± 1.5 m1/s) rates differed significantly from resting velocity (13 ± 6.6 cm/s) and flow (1.1 ± 0.4 ml/s) measurements (p < 0.0001). PD methods consistently measured larger flow rates at rest (24% larger, p < 0.0005) and stress (29% larger, p < 0.0001). CFR, calculated as the ratio of the mean PD flows (4.7 ± 2.8), was higher than CFR calculated as the ratio of mean CD flows (4.2 ± 1.8); however, the differences did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.07). Flow measurements performed in adjacent slices of the same vessel correlated well (r = 0.88). Conclusions: Coronary flow and CFR measurements using the MR techniques are feasible and are similar to those reported in the literature for healthy volunteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Coronary blood flow
  • Magnetic resonance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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