Renal Arterial Blood Flow Quantification by Breath-held Phase-velocity Encoded MRI
Wallin, Ashley Kay
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Autosomal dominant polycystic disease (ADPKD) is the most common hereditary renal disease and is characterized by renal cyst growth and enlargement. Hypertension occurs early when renal function is normal and is characterized by decreased renal blood flow. Accordingly, the measurement of blood flow in the renal arteries can be a valuable tool in evaluating disease progression. In studies performed in conjunction with this work, blood flow was measured through the renal arteries using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In order to validate these in vivo measurements, a vascular phantom was created using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and also scanned using MRI under controlled steady flow conditions. Ranges of vessel diameters and flow velocities were used to simulate actual flow in a normal and diseased population of adults and children. With the vessel diameters studied in this experiment, minimization of field of view and an increase in spatial resolution is important in obtaining accurate data. However, a significant difference does not exist between the results when using the 160 or 200 mm FOV. An increase in the number of phase encodings provides improved results, although an increase in image acquisition time is observed. Velocity-encoding in all three orthogonal directions does not improve image data. This method of using MRI to measure flow through a vessel is shown to be both accurate and reproducible, and the protocol providing the most correct results is prescribed. Breath-hold phase-velocity encoded MRI proves to be an accurate and reproducible technique in capturing flow and has the potential to be used for the purpose of observing hemodynamic changes in the renal arteries with the progression of ADPKD.