Emerging Clinical Applications of 4D Flow MR in the Heart and Aorta

Joseph W. Owen, Constantine A. Raptis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Review the current literature, focusing on potential clinical applications of time-resolved 3-dimensional phase contrast imaging (4D flow) in the thorax. Recent Findings: Magnetic resonance imaging has become an important diagnostic tool in the evaluation of the heart and great vessels, complimenting echocardiography in routine clinical practice. Advances in 4D flow now allow for comprehensive modeling of blood flow in the thorax in a single ECG-gated and respiratory-gated volumetric acquisition. 4D Flow modeling of preferential flow through shunts, eccentric jets related to valvular disease, helical flow in aneurysms, shear wall stress around atherosclerotic plaque, and pulse wave pressures within the aorta is now possible, and may lead to improved prognostication and management of complex cardiovascular pathology. Summary: The physiologic data obtained with 4D flow MR has provided new insight into a wide range of cardiovascular pathology, from congenital heart disease, bicuspid aortopathy, and aortic coarction to aortic aneurysms, atherosclerotic plaque, and aortic dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalCurrent Radiology Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • 4D flow
  • Cardiovascular medicine
  • Heart disease
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


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