Assessment of coronary flow velocity reserve with phase-contrast cine magnetic resonance imaging in patients with heavy coronary calcification

  • Takatoshi HigashikawaEmail author
  • Yasutaka Ichikawa
  • Masaki Ishida
  • Kakuya Kitagawa
  • Tadanori Hirano
  • Hajime Sakuma
Original Paper


Coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) can be noninvasively measured by phase-contrast cine magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI). Heavy coronary calcification degrades the diagnostic accuracy for the detection of coronary arterial stenosis on computed tomography (CT). The aim of this study was to evaluate the value of CFVR measurement with PC-MRI for detecting significant coronary stenoses in patients with heavy coronary calcification. Sixteen patients (71 ± 8 years) with coronary calcium score above 400 who had suspected moderate coronary stenosis (50–69% diameter stenosis) on CT angiography were prospectively studied. The CFVR values, calculated as the ratio of peak flow velocity during hyperemia to the peak flow velocity at rest, were measured using breath-hold PC-MRI with 3 T system, and were compared with the results of quantitative coronary angiography (QCA). The mean coronary calcium score was 985 ± 378. CFVR was successfully determined with PC-MRI in 17/18 (94%) vessels. Using a threshold of 1.4 for CFVR, the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value for detecting ≥ 50% stenosis on QCA was 88% (7/8), 89% (8/9), 88% (7/8), 89% (8/9), respectively. When MRI CFVR measurements was added to CT angiography for the evaluation of coronary stenosis, the positive predictive value was 88% (7/8), while the positive predictive value of CT angiography alone was 44% (8/18). PC-MRI can provide noninvasive detection of altered CFVR caused by significant stenosis in patient. CFVR measurement by PC-MRI is useful for diagnosing physiologically significant coronary stenosis in patients with high calcium score on CT.


Magnetic resonance imaging Coronary vessels Coronary stenosis Coronary flow velocity reserve 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takatoshi Higashikawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yasutaka Ichikawa
    • 1
  • Masaki Ishida
    • 1
  • Kakuya Kitagawa
    • 1
  • Tadanori Hirano
    • 2
  • Hajime Sakuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMie University HospitalTsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyMatsusaka Central HospitalMatsusakaJapan

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