Quantitative assessment of the entire thoracic aorta from magnetic resonance images

Ryan K. Johnson, Senthil Premraj, Sonali S. Patel, Andreas Wahle, Alan Stolpen, Milan Sonka, Thomas D. Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Although magnetic resonance imaging is a primary modality for following patients with connective tissue diseases, only a limited amount of the image data is utilised. The purpose of this study was to show the clinical applicability of an automated four-dimensional analysis method of magnetic resonance images of the aorta and develop normative data for the cross-sectional area of the entire thoracic aorta. Study design: Magnetic resonance imaging was obtained serially over 3 years from 32 healthy individuals and 24 patients with aortopathy and a personal or family history of connective tissue disorder. Graph theory-based segmentation was used to determine the cross-sectional area for the thoracic aorta. Healthy individual data were used to construct a nomogram representing the maximum cross-sectional area 5th-95th percentile along the entire thoracic aorta. Aortic root diameters calculated from the cross-sectional area were compared to measured diameters from echocardiographic data. The cross-sectional area of the entire thoracic aorta in patients was compared to healthy individuals. Results: Calculated aortic root diameters correlated with measured diameters from echo data - correlation coefficient was 0.74-0.87. The cross-sectional area in patients was significantly greater in the aortic root, ascending aorta, and descending aorta compared to healthy individuals. Conclusion: The presentation of the dimensional data for the entire thoracic aorta shows an important clinical tool for following patients with connective tissue disorders and aortopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortopathy
  • connective tissue disease
  • cross-sectional area
  • Marfan syndrome
  • thoracic aortic aneurysm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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