Funded by the Wellcome Prime Scheme – Fellowship Support Award
Around one in four people have multimorbidity - two or more long term conditions, for example diabetes is often associated with chronic kidney or liver disease, the combined impact of the conditions should be assessed. MRI can be used to understand physiology in healthy people and identify changes caused by disease. One key area of assessment is organ blood flow. Blood flow in each vessel can be measured using 2D phase contrast (PC)-MRI, but this relies on collecting images in multiple breath holds with careful planning with the operator clearly identifying the vessel, limiting its use in clinical practice. Blood flow in each vessel also has to be measured in a separate scan. To overcome these challenges, 4D PC-MRI can measure blood flow in several blood vessels within the body within one scan. Recent research in 4D flow MRI has demonstrated that it can enable a comprehensive evaluation of cardiovascular blood flow in multiple organ systems and vascular territories.
In this study we are optimising 4D MRI flow protocol to measure blood flow in several blood vessels in the body. Protocols will be compared on a phantom in which flow can be simulated and on healthy volunteers. In addition, software packages for analysing 4D flow will be compared to determine repeatability and user-dependence of blood flow measurements.