Coronary artery bypass graft failure is often a consequence of intimal hyperplasia (IH), which correlates with hemodynamic factors (e.g., wall shear stress); this relationship has been used to evaluate arterial graft design [e.g., 1–4]. The vertebro-basilar system is a native arterial merge (i.e., two arteries, the vertebrals, converge into a single artery, the basilar artery); thus, characterizing the flow field of this system in healthy subjects could be useful for early detection of anomalies (e.g., aneurysms) or for vascular graft design improvements to ensure graft/vessel patency. This study uses high field MR and phase contrast MR (PCMR) to investigate the hemodynamics of the vertebro-basilar system in a healthy, adult subject for predicting pathophysiologically-relevant flow patterns (e.g., low wall shear stress) that are related to IH and subsequent graft failure.

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