Background: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) phase contrast (PC) flow measurements suffer from phase offset errors. Background subtraction based on stationary phantom measurements can most reliably be used to overcome this inaccuracy. Stationary tissue correction is an alternative and does not require additional phantom scanning. The aim of this study was 1) to compare measurements with and without stationary tissue correction to phantom corrected measurements on different GE Healthcare CMR scanners using different software packages and 2) to evaluate the clinical implications of these methods. Methods: CMR PC imaging of both the aortic and pulmonary artery flow was performed in patients on three different 1.5 T CMR scanners (GE Healthcare) using identical scan parameters. Uncorrected, first, second and third order stationary tissue corrected flow measurement were compared to phantom corrected flow measurements, our reference method, using Medis QFlow, Circle cvi42 and MASS software. The optimal (optimized) stationary tissue order was determined per scanner and software program. Velocity offsets, net flow, clinically significant difference (deviation > 10% net flow), and regurgitation severity were assessed. Results: Data from 175 patients (28 (17–38) years) were included, of which 84% had congenital heart disease. First, second and third order and optimized stationary tissue correction did not improve the velocity offsets and net flow measurements. Uncorrected measurements resulted in the least clinically significant differences in net flow compared to phantom corrected data. Optimized stationary tissue correction per scanner and software program resulted in net flow differences (> 10%) in 19% (MASS) and 30% (Circle cvi42) of all measurements compared to 18% (MASS) and 23% (Circle cvi42) with no correction. Compared to phantom correction, regurgitation reclassification was the least common using uncorrected data. One CMR scanner performed worse and significant net flow differences of > 10% were present both with and without stationary tissue correction in more than 30% of all measurements. Conclusion: Phase offset errors had a significant impact on net flow quantification, regurgitation assessment and varied greatly between CMR scanners. Background phase correction using stationary tissue correction worsened accuracy compared to no correction on three GE Healthcare CMR scanners. Therefore, careful assessment of phase offset errors at each individual scanner is essential to determine whether routine use of phantom correction is necessary.

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (Print)
Department of Radiology

Minderhoud, S.C.S., van der Velde, N., Wentzel, J., van der Geest, RJ, Attrach, M., Wielopolski, P., … Hirsch, A. (2020). The clinical impact of phase offset errors and different correction methods in cardiovascular magnetic resonance phase contrast imaging: a multi-scanner study. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (Print), 22(1). doi:10.1186/s12968-020-00659-3