Aortic flow is abnormal in HFpEF

Zia Mehmood, Hosamadin Assadi, Rui Li, Bahman Kasmai, Gareth Matthews, Ciaran Grafton-Clarke, Aureo Sanz, Xiaodan Zhao, Liang Zhong, Nay Aung, Kristian Skinner, Charaka Hadinnapola, Peter P. Swoboda, Andrew J. Swift, Vassilios S. Vassiliou, Christopher Miller, Rob J. van der Geest, Steffen Erhard Petersen, Pankaj Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Turbulent aortic flow makes the cardiovascular system less effective. It remains unknown if patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have disturbed aortic flow. This study sought to investigate advanced markers of aortic flow disturbances in HFpEF.

Methods: This case-controlled observational study used four-dimensional flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance derived, two-dimensional phase-contrast reformatted plane data at an orthogonal plane just above the sino-tubular junction. We recruited 10 young healthy controls (HCs), 10 old HCs and 23 patients with HFpEF. We analysed average systolic aortic flow displacement (FDsavg), systolic flow reversal ratio (sFRR) and pulse wave velocity (PWV). In a sub-group analysis, we compared old HCs versus age-gender-matched HFpEF (N=10).

Results: Differences were significant in mean age (P<0.001) among young HCs (22.9±3.5 years), old HCs (60.5±10.2 years) and HFpEF patients (73.7±9.7 years). FDsavg, sFRR and PWV varied significantly (P<0.001) in young HCs (8±4%, 2±2%, 4±2m/s), old HCs (16±5%, 7±6%, 11±8m/s), and HFpEF patients (23±10%, 11±10%, 8±3). No significant PWV differences existed between old HCs and HFpEF.HFpEF had significantly higher FDsavg versus old HCs (23±10% vs 16±5%, P<0.001). A FDsavg > 17.7% achieved 74% sensitivity, 70% specificity for differentiating them. sFRR was notably higher in HFpEF (11±10% vs 7±6%, P<0.001). A sFRR > 7.3% yielded 78% sensitivity, 70% specificity in differentiating these groups. In sub-group analysis, FDsavg remained distinctly elevated in HFpEF (22.4±9.7% vs 16±4.9%, P=0.029). FDsavg of >16% showed 100% sensitivity and 70% specificity (P=0.01). Similarly, sFRR remained significantly higher in HFpEF (11.3±9.5% vs 6.6±6.4%, P=0.007). A sFRR of >7.2% showed 100% sensitivity and 60% specificity (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Aortic flow haemodynamics namely FDsavg and sFRR are significantly affected in ageing and HFpEF patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number577
JournalWellcome Open Research
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2024


  • Aortic Flow
  • Cardiac Output
  • HFpEF
  • Haemodynamics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Cite this