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Measurement of myocardial blood flow by cardiovascular magnetic resonance perfusion: comparison of distributed parameter and Fermi models with single and dual bolus

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    Rights statement: © 2015 Papanastasiou et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2015


Mathematical modeling of cardiovascular magnetic resonance perfusion data allows absolute quantification of myocardial blood flow. Saturation of left ventricle signal during standard contrast administration can compromise the input function used when applying these models. This saturation effect is evident during application of standard Fermi models in single bolus perfusion data. Dual bolus injection protocols have been suggested to eliminate saturation but are much less practical in the clinical setting. The distributed parameter model can also be used for absolute quantification but has not been applied in patients with coronary artery disease. We assessed whether distributed parameter modeling might be less dependent on arterial input function saturation than Fermi modeling in healthy volunteers. We validated the accuracy of each model in detecting reduced myocardial blood flow in stenotic vessels versus gold-standard invasive methods.
Eight healthy subjects were scanned using a dual bolus cardiac perfusion protocol at 3T. We performed both single and dual bolus analysis of these data using the distributed parameter and Fermi models. For the dual bolus analysis, a scaled pre-bolus arterial input function was used. In single bolus analysis, the arterial input function was extracted from the main bolus. We also performed analysis using both models of single bolus data obtained from five patients with coronary artery disease and findings were compared against independent invasive coronary angiography and fractional flow reserve. Statistical significance was defined as two-sided P value < 0.05.
Fermi models overestimated myocardial blood flow in healthy volunteers due to arterial input function saturation in single bolus analysis compared to dual bolus analysis (P < 0.05). No difference was observed in these volunteers when applying distributed parameter-myocardial blood flow between single and dual bolus analysis. In patients, distributed parameter modeling was able to detect reduced myocardial blood flow at stress (<2.5 mL/min/mL of tissue) in all 12 stenotic vessels compared to only 9 for Fermi modeling.
Comparison of single bolus versus dual bolus values suggests that distributed parameter modeling is less dependent on arterial input function saturation than Fermi modeling. Distributed parameter modeling showed excellent accuracy in detecting reduced myocardial blood flow in all stenotic vessels.

    Research areas

  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance, Distributed parameter modeling, Fermi modeling, Fractional flow reserve, Invasive coronary angiography, Myocardial blood flow

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