Pulmonary Vascular Biomechanics

The NJH Pulmonary Vascular Biomechanics Group (Summer of 2014).  From left to right: Chris Podgorski (University of Notre Dame), Michal Schafer (University of Colorado Bioengineering), Bryan Lin (Swarthmore College), Slade Reisner (Dickinson College), Alex Honeyman (Whitman College), Elizabeth Whitman (University of Colorado Boulder).Because of its ability to non-invasively assess blood flow and tissue motion with high spatial and temporal resolution, cardiac MRI (CMR) is well suited to study vascular disease in the right ventricular-pulmonary arterial system. The recent development of 4 dimensional flow CMR (4D flow CMR) allows for in vivo characterization and analysis of previously unseen blood flow topologies. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of theses blood flow patterns may reveal novel insights into the both the fluid and tissue mechanics of pulmonary vascular disease. Ultimately, these findings may generate diagnostic, treatment, and prognostic information not provided by existing non-invasive testing modalities for pulmonary hypertension (PH). To this end, our group is implementing an innovative post-processing approach to analyzing right ventricular and main pulmonary arterial 4D flow CMR datasets in both controls and PH groups and correlating these findings with a robust array of mulitmodality imaging, hemodynamic, and clinical endpoints.

Figure Legend:

Right ventricular (RV) and pulmonary arterial (PA) velocity and vorticity vectors during late systole in a healthy subject. Velocity vectors are shown as gray pencil shapes with flow in the direction of the point, and magnitude indicated by the size of the pencil. Vorticity vectors are represented by arrows, color coded from 0 m/s/mm (blue) to high (red) at 0.207 m/s/mm.

Click to view larger image.


Current Projects

  • 4D Cardiac MRI for the Prediction of Right Ventricular Failure in Pulmonary Hypertension
  • 4D Cardiac MRI-Derived Pulmonary Arterial Vortex Properties for the Prediction of Pulmonary Vascular Impedance
  • Pulmonary Vascular Function in COPD Subjects with Disproportionate Dyspnea
  • 4D Cardiac MRI for the Assessment of Disease Severity and Prognosis in Pulmonary Hypertension
  • 4D Flow Cardiac MRI for the Diagnosis and Assessment of Pulmonary Hypertension 


Principal Investigator:
Brett Fenster, MD

Kern Buckner, MD

Lab Researchers:
Michal Schafer
Chris Podgorski

Study Coordinator:
Valerie Snyder


University of Colorado Denver
Kendall Hunter, PhD
Vitaly Kheyfets, PhD
Todd Bull, MD