June Cheng Baron1, Ben Esch2, Jessica Scott2, Mark Haykowsky3, Ian Paterson4, Richard Thompson1
1Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 2Cardiovascular Physiology and Rehabilitation Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 3Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 4Division of Cardiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Pressure gradients are an appealing measure of diastolic function because they provide a direct assessment of the forces responsible for driving blood flow, and have now been reported in several clinical studies. While pressure gradients are commonly expressed in terms of a peak pressure difference over space at a single point in time they vary considerably over time and space, with unique patterns in the atrium and ventricle. We show, for the first time, that pressure gradients, calculated using phase contrast MRI, present as distinct ventricular and atrial waves with characteristic speeds, directions and amplitudes.