Whole body magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has recently become an important diagnostic tool for cardiovascular diseases. The technique of magnetic resonance phase velocity encoding allows the quantitative measurement of velocity for an arbitrary component direction. A study was initiated to determine the ability and accuracy of MR velocimetry to measure a wide range of flow conditions including flow separation, three-dimensional secondary flow, high velocity gradients, and turbulence. A steady flow system pumped water doped with manganese chloride through a variety of test sections. Images were produced using gradient echo sequences on test sections including a straight tube, a curved tube, a smoothly converging-diverging nozzle, and an orifice. Magnetic resonance measurements of laminar and turbulent flows were depicted as cross-sectional velocity profiles. MR velocity measurements revealed such flow behavior as spatially varying velocity, recirculation and secondary flows over a wide range of conditions. Comparisons made with published experimental laser Doppler anemometry measurements and theoretical calculations for similar flow conditions revealed excellent accuracy and precision levels. The successful measurement of velocity profiles for a variety of flow conditions and geometries indicate that magnetic resonance imaging is an accurate, non-contacting velocimeter.

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