Aortic coarctation is a relatively common cardiovascular condition with high associated
mortality if not treated. Even with successful repair, however, close follow up is needed as
late complications can result in significant cardiovascular morbidity. MRI, with is ability
to provide both anatomic and hemodynamic information, is becoming the imaging option of
choice for post-intervention surveillance. Time-resolved, three-dimensional phase contrast
magnetic resonance velocity (4D Flow) profiling enables the acquisition of multidirectional
blood velocity data. The technique is well suited for evaluation of blood flow patterns in
the thoracic aorta. By comparing aortic flow patterns in patients status post coarctation
repair with those of healthy volunteers using 4D Flow, this study intends to characterize
abnormal flow patterns in these patients with the eventual goal of better understanding and
predicting late complications so that preemptive intervention may be taken.
Given the potential use of 4D Flow for evaluation of other types of vascular pathology in
the aorta and other vascular regions, we hope to investigate the use of the technique on a
limited basis for a broader population of adult patients. Other research groups have had
success evaluating peripheral stenoses, as well as intracardiac and intracranial blood flow
patterns with 4D Flow.
Patients: primarily status post intervention for repair of aortic coarctation and
undergoing routine MRI follow up, but also adult patients with other vascular pathologies
undergoing routine MRI evaluation, who may be good candidates for 4D Flow blood flow
Healthy subjects: healthy members of the radiology residency program and staff at UCSF.