Purpose: To investigate four-dimensional (4D) flow CT for the assessment of intracardiac blood flow patterns as compared with 4D flow MRI.
Materials and Methods: This prospective study acquired coronary CT angiography and 4D flow MRI data between February and December 2016 in a cohort of 12 participants (age range, 36-74 years; mean age, 57 years; seven men [age range, 36-74 years; mean age, 57 years] and five women [age range, 52-73 years; mean age, 64 years]). Flow simulations based solely on CT-derived cardiac anatomy were assessed together with 4D flow MRI measurements. Flow patterns, flow rates, stroke volume, kinetic energy, and flow components were quantified for both techniques and were compared by using linear regression.
Results: Cardiac flow patterns obtained by using 4D flow CT were qualitatively similar to 4D flow MRI measurements, as graded by three independent observers. The Cohen κ score was used to assess intraobserver variability (0.83, 0.79, and 0.70) and a paired Wilcoxon rank-sum test showed no significant change (P > .05) between gradings. Peak flow rate and stroke volumes between 4D flow MRI measurements and 4D flow CT measurements had high correlation (r = 0.98 and r = 0.81, respectively; P < .05 for both). Integrated kinetic energy quantified at peak systole correlated well (r = 0.95, P < .05), while kinetic energy levels at early and late filling showed no correlation. Flow component analysis showed high correlation for the direct and residual components, respectively (r = 0.93, P < .05 and r = 0.87, P < .05), while the retained and delayed components showed no correlation.
Conclusion: Four-dimensional flow CT produced qualitatively and quantitatively similar intracardiac blood flow patterns compared with the current reference standard, four-dimensional flow MRI.