Clinical intra-cardiac 4D flow CMR: acquisition, analysis, and clinical applications

Ahmet Demirkiran, Pim van Ooij, Jos J. M. Westenberg, Mark B. M. Hofman, Hans C. van Assen, Linda J. Schoonmade, Usman Asim, Carmen P. S. Blanken, Aart J. Nederveen, Albert C. van Rossum, Marco J. W. Götte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Identification of flow patterns within the heart has long been recognized as a potential contribution to the understanding of physiological and pathophysiological processes of cardiovascular diseases. Although the pulsatile flow itself is multi-dimensional and multi-directional, current available non-invasive imaging modalities in clinical practice provide calculation of flow in only 1-direction and lack 3-dimensional volumetric velocity information. Four-dimensional flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (4D flow CMR) has emerged as a novel tool that enables comprehensive and critical assessment of flow through encoding velocity in all 3 directions in a volume of interest resolved over time. Following technical developments, 4D flow CMR is not only capable of visualization and quantification of conventional flow parameters such as mean/peak velocity and stroke volume but also provides new hemodynamic parameters such as kinetic energy. As a result, 4D flow CMR is being extensively exploited in clinical research aiming to improve understanding of the impact of cardiovascular disease on flow and vice versa. Of note, the analysis of 4D flow data is still complex and accurate analysis tools that deliver comparable quantification of 4D flow values are a necessity for a more widespread adoption in clinic. In this article, the acquisition and analysis processes are summarized and clinical applications of 4D flow CMR on the heart including conventional and novel hemodynamic parameters are discussed. Finally, clinical potential of other emerging intra-cardiac 4D flow imaging modalities is explored and a near-future perspective on 4D flow CMR is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-165
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean heart journal cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2022

Cite this