Abnormal torsion and helical flow patterns of the neo-aorta in hypoplastic left heart syndrome assessed with 4D-flow MRI
Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
The Norwood procedure is the first stage of correction for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and may lead to an abnormal neoaortic anatomy. We prospectively studied the neoaorta's fluid dynamics and the abnormal twist of the neoaorta by MRI examinations of HLHS patients in Fontan circulation. This study for the first time investigates the hypothesis that the neoaorta twist is associated with increased helical flow patterns, which may lead to an increased workload for the
... rkload for the systemic right ventricle (RV) and ultimately to RV hypertrophy. Methods: A group of forty-two HLHS patients with a median age of 4.9 (2.9-17.0) years, at NYHA I was studied along with a control group of eleven subjects with healthy hearts and a median age of 12.1 (4.0-41.6). All subjects underwent MRI of the thoracic aorta including ECG-gated 2D balanced SSFP cine for an axial slice stack and 4D-flow MRI for a sagittal volume slab covering the thoracic aorta. The twist of the neoaortic arch was quantified by the effective geometric torsion, defined as the product of curvature and geometric torsion. Fluid dynamics and geometry in the neoaorta, including the flow helicity index, were evaluated using an in-house analysis software (MeVisLab-based). Myocardial mass of the systemic ventricle at end-diastole was estimated by planimetry of the short-axis stack. Results: Compared to the control group, the neoaorta in the HLHS patients shows an increased twist (P=0.04) and higher peak helicity density (P=0.03). The maximum helicity density was correlated with maximum effective torsion of the ascending neoaorta (P<0.001). The degree of maximum twist correlated with the increase in RV myocardial mass (P<0.01). Conclusions: This study shows that the abnormal twist of the neoaortic arch in HLHS patients is associated with abnormal helical flow patterns, which may contribute to increased RV afterload and may adversely affect the systemic RV by stimulation of myocardial hypertrophy. These findings suggest that further improvements of surgical aortic reconstruction, guided by insights from 4D-flow MRI, could lead to better neoaortic fluid dynamics in patients with HLHS. Voges I, Rickers C. Abnormal torsion and helical flow patterns of the neo-aorta in hypoplastic left heart syndrome assessed with 4D-flow MRI.