Reconstruction and Validation of Arterial Geometries for Computational Fluid Dynamics Using Multiple Temporal Frames of 4D Flow-MRI Magnitude Images.
Black SM., Maclean C., Barrientos PH., Ritos K., Kazakidi A.
PURPOSE: Segmentation and reconstruction of arterial blood vessels is a fundamental step in the translation of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to the clinical practice. Four-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging (4D Flow-MRI) can provide detailed information of blood flow but processing this information to elucidate the underlying anatomical structures is challenging. In this study, we present a novel approach to create high-contrast anatomical images from retrospective 4D Flow-MRI data. METHODS: For healthy and clinical cases, the 3D instantaneous velocities at multiple cardiac time steps were superimposed directly onto the 4D Flow-MRI magnitude images and combined into a single composite frame. This new Composite Phase-Contrast Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (CPC-MRA) resulted in enhanced and uniform contrast within the lumen. These images were subsequently segmented and reconstructed to generate 3D arterial models for CFD. Using the time-dependent, 3D incompressible Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, the transient aortic haemodynamics was computed within a rigid wall model of patient geometries. RESULTS: Validation of these models against the gold standard CT-based approach showed no statistically significant inter-modality difference regarding vessel radius or curvature (p > 0.05), and a similar Dice Similarity Coefficient and Hausdorff Distance. CFD-derived near-wall hemodynamics indicated a significant inter-modality difference (p > 0.05), though these absolute errors were small. When compared to the in vivo data, CFD-derived velocities were qualitatively similar. CONCLUSION: This proof-of-concept study demonstrated that functional 4D Flow-MRI information can be utilized to retrospectively generate anatomical information for CFD models in the absence of standard imaging datasets and intravenous contrast.