Real-time aortic pulse wave velocity measurement during exercise stress testing
Imaging the left ventricular mechanical and hemodynamic response to the stress of exercise may offer early prognosis in select patients with cardiac disease. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining simultaneous measurements of longitudinal strain and transvalvular blood velocity during supine bicycle exercise stress in a wide bore magnetic resonance scanner. Combining information from the two datasets, we observe that although the time to peak strain (33.28 ± 1.86 versus 25.7 ± 2.12 as % of R-R interval) and time to peak mitral inflow velocity (44.37 ± 5.21 versus 35.5 ± 4.19 as % of R-R interval) from R-wave of the QRS complex occurred earlier during stress, the time from peak strain to peak mitral inflow velocity was not statistically different (16.5 ± 3.23 versus 13.4 ± 3.06). Further, the percentage of longitudinal relaxation at peak mitral inflow velocity was higher during stress (63.5 ± 7.72 versus 84.32 ± 6.24). These results suggest that although diastole is shortened, early diastolic filling efficiency is augmented during exercise stress in normal volunteers in an effort to maintain stroke volume.