The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging

, Volume 34, Issue 12, pp 1927–1935 | Cite as

The ventricular residence time distribution derived from 4D flow particle tracing: a novel marker of myocardial dysfunction

  • Benedict T. Costello
  • Mateen Qadri
  • Bradley Price
  • Stavroula Papapostolou
  • Mark Thompson
  • James L. Hare
  • Andre La Gerche
  • Murray Rudman
  • Andrew J. Taylor
Original Paper


4D flow cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging allows visualisation of blood flow in the cardiac chambers and great vessels. Post processing of the flow data allows determination of the residence time distribution (RTD), a novel means of assessing ventricular function, potentially providing additional information beyond ejection fraction. We evaluated the RTD measurement of efficiency of left and right ventricular (LV and RV) blood flow. 16 volunteers and 16 patients with systolic dysfunction (LVEF < 50%) underwent CMR studies including 4D flow. The RTDs were created computationally by seeding virtual ‘particles’ at the inlet plane in customised post-processing software, moving these particles with the measured blood velocity, recording and counting how many exited per unit of time. The efficiency of ventricular flow was determined from the RTDs based on the time constant (RTDc = − 1/B) of the exponential decay. The RTDc was compared to ejection fraction, T1 mapping and global longitudinal strain (GLS). There was a significant difference between groups in LV RTDc (healthy volunteers 1.2 ± 0.13 vs systolic dysfunction 2.2 ± 0.80, p < 0.001, C-statistic = 1.0) and RV RTDc (1.5 ± 0.15 vs 2.0 ± 0.57, p = 0.013, C-statistic = 0.799). The LV RTDc correlated significantly with LVEF (R = − 0.84, P < 0.001) and the RV RTDc had significant correlation with RVEF (R = − 0.402, p = 0.008). The correlation between LV RTDc and LVEF was similar to GLS and LVEF (0.926, p < 0.001). The ventricular residence time correlates with ejection fraction and can distinguish normal from abnormal systolic function. Further assessment of this method of assessment of chamber function is warranted.


4D flow Cardiac magnetic resonance Dilated cardiomyopathy 



Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging


Residence time distribution


Left ventricular


Right ventricular


Ejection fraction


Global longitudinal strain


Four dimensional


Dilated cardiomyopathy


Extracellular volume



We thank the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute radiology staff for their assistance in this project.

Author contributions

BC: conception, design and analysis and interpretation of data, and drafting of the manuscript; MQ: development of MATLAB code, analysis of data and revision of the manuscript; BP: development of MATLAB code; MT: development of code and revision of manuscript: JH: conception and design and revision of the manuscript; ALG: analysis and interpretation of data, revision of manuscript; MR: development of MATLAB code, analysis of data, revision of manuscript; AJT: conception, design and analysis and interpretation of data, revision of the manuscript and final approval.


The study was funded by a research grant from Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME) and by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee (Melbourne, Australia) and carried out under their guidelines.

Informed consent

Prior to inclusion in the study written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Consent for publication

All authors declare their consent for publication.

Supplementary material

10554_2018_1407_MOESM1_ESM.avi (42.6 mb)
Multimedia: Video file of particle traces with seeding plane at the mitral valve over five cardiac cycles in a participant with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 60%. (AVI 43589 KB)
10554_2018_1407_MOESM2_ESM.docx (12 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 12 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benedict T. Costello
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mateen Qadri
    • 3
  • Bradley Price
    • 3
  • Stavroula Papapostolou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Thompson
    • 3
  • James L. Hare
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andre La Gerche
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Murray Rudman
    • 3
  • Andrew J. Taylor
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular MedicineAlfred HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Baker Heart and Diabetes InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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