Blood flow through the heart and great vessels moves in three dimensions (3D) throughout time. However, the assessment of its 3D nature has been limited in the human body. Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allow for the comprehensive visualization and quantification of in-vivo flow dynamics using four-dimensional (4D) flow MRI. In addition, this technique provides the opportunity to obtain advanced hemodynamic biomarkers such as vorticity, helicity, wall shear stress (WSS), pressure gradients, viscous energy loss (EL), and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE). This chapter will introduce 4D flow MRI which is currently used for blood flow visualization and advanced quantification of cardiac hemodynamic biomarkers. We will discuss its advantages relative to other in-vivo flow imaging techniques and describe its potential clinical applications in cardiology.
Part of the book: Blood