Cardiac magnetic resonance systematically overestimates mitral regurgitations by the indirect method

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Objective Cardiac MRI is quickly emerging as the gold standard for assessment of mitral regurgitation, most commonly with the indirect method subtracting forward flow in aorta from volumetric segmentation of the left ventricle. We aimed to investigate how aortic flow measurements with increasing distance from the aortic valve affect calculated mitral regurgitations and whether measurements were influenced by breath-hold regimen. Methods Free-breathing and breath-hold phase contrast flows were measured in aorta at valve level, sinotubular (ST) junction, mid-ascending aorta and in the pulmonary trunk. Flow measurements were pairwise compared, and subsequently, after exclusion of patients with visible mitral and tricuspid regurgitations for left-sided and right-sided comparisons, respectively, flow-measured stroke volumes were compared with ventricular volumetric segmentations. Results Thirty-nine participants without arrhythmias or structural abnormalities of the large vessels were included. Stroke volumes measured with free-breathing and breath-hold flow decreased equally with increasing distance to the aortic valves (breath-hold flow: aortic valve 105.6±20.8 mL, ST junction 101.5±20.7 mL, mid-ascending aorta 98.1±21.5 mL). After exclusion of atrioventricular regurgitations, stroke volumes determined by volumetric measurements were higher compared with values determined by flow measurements, corresponding to 'false' atrioventricular regurgitations of 8.0%±5.8% with flow measured at valve level, 11.6%±5.2% at the ST junction and 15.3%±5.0% at the mid-ascending aorta. Conclusions Stroke volumes determined by flow decrease throughout the proximal aorta and are systematically lower than volumetrically measured stroke volumes. The indirect method systematically overestimates mitral regurgitations, especially with increasing distance from the aortic valves.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001323
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • aorta, great vessels and trauma, cardiovascular examination, mitral regurgitation, MRI

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