Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 57–67 | Cite as

4-D flow MRI aortic 3-D hemodynamics and wall shear stress remain stable over short-term follow-up in pediatric and young adult patients with bicuspid aortic valve

  • Michael J. Rose
  • Cynthia K. RigsbyEmail author
  • Haben Berhane
  • Emilie Bollache
  • Kelly Jarvis
  • Alex J. Barker
  • Susanne Schnell
  • Bradley D. Allen
  • Joshua D. Robinson
  • Michael Markl
Original Article



Children with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) are at risk for serious complications including aortic valve stenosis and aortic rupture. Most studies investigating biomarkers predictive of BAV complications are focused on adults.


To investigate whether hemodynamic parameters change over time in children and young adults with BAV by comparing baseline and follow-up four-dimensional (4-D) flow MRI examinations.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively included 19 children and young adults with BAV who had serial 4-D flow MRI exams (mean difference in scan dates 1.8±1.0 [range, 0.6–3.4 years]). We compared aortic peak blood flow velocity, three-dimensional (3-D) wall shear stress, aortic root and ascending aortic (AAo) z-scores between baseline and follow-up exams. We generated systolic streamlines for all patients and visually compared their baseline and follow-up exams.


The only significant difference between baseline and follow-up exams occurred in AAo z-scores (3.12±2.62 vs. 3.59±2.76, P<0.05) indicating growth of the AAo out of proportion to somatic growth. There were no significant changes in either peak velocity or 3-D wall shear stress between baseline and follow-up exams. Ascending aortic peak velocity at baseline correlated with annual change in AAo z-score (r=0.58, P=0.009). Visual assessment revealed abnormal blood flow patterns, which were unique to each patient and remained stable between baseline and follow-up exams.


In our pediatric and young adult BAV cohort, hemodynamic markers and systolic blood flow patterns remained stable over short-term follow-up despite significant AAo growth, suggesting minimal acute disease progression. Baseline AAo peak velocity was a predictor of AAo dilation and might help in determining pediatric patients with BAV who are at risk of increased AAo growth.


Bicuspid aortic valve Children Congenital heart disease 4-D flow Heart Magnetic resonance imaging Wall shear stress 



We thank Marci Messina, RT(R)(MR), for scanning and Ryan Kuhn, Sebastian Garcia and Paige Nelson for data collection and patient consent. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01 HL115828 and K25 HL119608, and American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate grants 6POST27250158 and 16SDG30420005.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Rose
    • 1
  • Cynthia K. Rigsby
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author return OK on get
  • Haben Berhane
    • 1
  • Emilie Bollache
    • 2
  • Kelly Jarvis
    • 2
    • 4
  • Alex J. Barker
    • 2
  • Susanne Schnell
    • 2
  • Bradley D. Allen
    • 2
  • Joshua D. Robinson
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  • Michael Markl
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingAnn & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Biomedical EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Pediatric CardiologyAnn & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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