Cardiac MR assessment of aortic regurgitation: Holodiastolic flow reversal in the descending aorta helps stratify severity

Michael A. Bolen, Zoran B. Popovic, Prabhakar Rajiah, Ruvin S. Gabriel, Andrew O. Zurick, Michael L. Lieber, Scott D. Flamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the utility of holodiastolic flow reversal (HDR) in the descending aorta on velocity-encoded cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) images in the stratification of aortic regurgitation (AR) severity. Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board, with waiver of informed consent. A total of 80 patients (overall mean age, 49 years ± 18 [standard deviation]; 22 women and 58 men ) with clinical indication for cardiac MR imaging of the aorta were analyzed retrospectively. Velocity-encoded MR imaging was used to quantify AR and assess for HDR at the level of the middescending aorta. These indexes were compared with a qualitative integrated echocardiographic evaluation of AR severity. Sensitivity and specificity for HDR in the prediction of substantial AR were determined, and logistic regression analysis (with associated odds ratios and C statistics) was performed, with HDR and regurgitant fraction as independent predictors. An additional 42 patients (overall mean age, 48 years ± 21; 12 female and 30 male ) were then prospectively evaluated in similar fashion to evaluate a decision model derived from analysis of the first group. Results: HDR predicted severe AR (echo grade, 4) with high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (93%). HDR was highly specifi c (100%) but had lower sensitivity (61%) for moderate to severe AR (echo grade, 3-4). Integration of HDR and direct AR quantification into a combined stratification model based on analysis of the primary group showed good predictive results in the validation group, with a C statistic of 0.94 for moderate to severe AR and 0.93 for severe AR. Conclusion: HDR in the middescending thoracic aorta observed at cardiac MR is indicative of severe AR and can be used in conjunction with quantified regurgitant values obtained from velocity-encoded MR imaging to stratify AR severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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