Purpose: To explore the extent of bias in cerebrospinal fluid flow estimates due to radiofrequency saturation, and its possible impact on the use of two-dimensional cine phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis and characterization of normal pressure hydrocephalus in patients. Theory and Methods: Theoretical signal equations were generated to describe saturation dependence on velocity. An experimental set of phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging scans with two different flip angles was used to show bias in flow estimates in a flow phantom, and in six different healthy volunteers. The cerebral aqueduct was targeted as the flow region of interest. Results: Data from a constant flow phantom showed a spatial distribution of voxels with significant bias in flow at the periphery of the flow region. The velocity difference (bias) maps of the cerebral aqueduct correlated with the spatial velocity gradients around peak systole and peak diastole, and high correlation with temporal velocity gradients during transition between systole and diastole. The aqueductal stroke volume for θ = 30° were found to be significantly higher than for θ = 10° using a Wilcoxon signed rank test. Conclusion: This work shows the extent of bias in cerebrospinal fluid flow quantification due to radiofrequency saturation effects. This clinical relevance of this error was presented with respect to shunt responsiveness among normal pressure hydrocephalus patients. Magn Reson Med 79:2067–2076, 2018.
- cerebrospinal fluid flow
- phase contrast MRI
- radio frequency saturation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging