Development of a graphical user interface and cross manufacturer adaptation of a program for determining the pulse wave velocity in the aorta from phase-contrast magnetic resonance images

Constantin Schareck 1 , Thekla Oechtering 2 , Alex Frydrychowicz 2 , and Martin Koch 3
  • 1 Institute of Medical Engineering, Universität zu Lübeck,, Lübeck, Germany
  • 2 Clinic of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein,, Lübeck, Germany
  • 3 Institute of Medical Engineering,, Lübeck, Germany

Abstract

Due to the periodic contraction of the heart, a pulse-shaped course of the blood velocity is caused in the aortic system. The speed at which this pulse wave moves is called pulse wave velocity (PWV). Since it depends, among other parameters, on the elasticity of the vascular wall, it can be used clinically as an indicator of atherosclerotic changes and, above all, as a measure of the risk of stroke for hypertensive patients. PWV can be determined non-invasively if the blood flow in the aorta is measured via flow-sensitive MRI. Within the scope of this work, existing phase-contrast (PC) image analysis algorithms, resulting in the PWV, were embedded in a graphical user interface (GUI). These algorithms were only able to evaluate PC images which were acquired on a Philips tomograph. Therefore they have been extended for the analysis of PC images acquired on a Siemens tomograph.

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