Many cardiovascular diseases lead to local increases in relative pressure, reflecting the higher costs of driving blood flow. The utility of this biomarker for stratifying the severity of disease has thus driven the development of methods to measure these relative pressures. While intravascular catheterisation remains the most direct measure, its invasiveness limits clinical application in many instances. Non-invasive Doppler ultrasound estimates have partially addressed this gap; however only provide relative pressure estimates for a range of constricted cardiovascular conditions. Here we introduce a non-invasive method that enables arbitrary interrogation of relative pressures throughout an imaged vascular structure, leveraging modern phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging, the virtual work-energy equations, and a virtual field to provide robust and accurate estimates. The versatility and accuracy of the method is verified in a set of complex patient-specific cardiovascular models, where relative pressures into previously inaccessible flow regions are assessed. The method is further validated within a cohort of congenital heart disease patients, providing a novel tool for probing relative pressures in-vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1375
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date4 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019


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