Distribution of blood flow velocity in the normal aorta: Effect of age and gender

Garcia, J.; van der Palen, R. L. F.; Bollache, E.; Jarvis, K.; Rose, M. J.; Barker, A. J.; Collins, J. D.; Carr, J. C.; Robinson, J.; Rigsby, C. K.; Markl, M.

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2017 May 31; 47(2):487-498

Abstract

PURPOSE: To apply flow distribution analysis in the entire aorta across a wide age range from pediatric to adult subjects. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In all, 98 healthy subjects (age 9-78 years, 41 women) underwent 4D flow MRI at 1.5T and 3T for the assessment of 3D blood flow in the thoracic aorta. Subjects were categorized into age groups: group 1 (n = 9, 5 women): 9-15 years; group 2 (n = 13, 8 women): 16-20 years; group 3 (n = 27, 14 women): 21-39 years; group 4 (n = 40, 11 women): 40-59 years; group 5 (n = 9, 3 women): >60 years. Data analysis included the 3D segmentation of the aorta, aortic valve peak velocity, mid-ascending aortic diameter, and calculation of flow velocity distribution descriptors (mean, median, standard deviation, incidence of velocities >1 m/s, skewness, and kurtosis of aortic velocity magnitude). Ascending aortic diameter was normalized by body surface area. RESULTS: Age was significantly associated with normalized aortic diameter (R = 0.73, P < 0.001), skewness (R = 0.76, P < 0.001), and kurtosis (R = 0.74, P < 0.001), all adjusted by heart rate. Aortic peak velocity and velocity distribution descriptors, adjusted by heart rate, were significantly different between age groups (P < 0.001, analysis of covariance). Skewness and kurtosis significantly increased (P < 0.001) during adulthood (>40 years) as compared with childhood (<21 years). Men and women revealed significant differences (P

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