Objective: Peripheral arterial disease results in insufficient blood supply to the leg. Assessment of blood flow may provide information about severity of the disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has potential use for simple, fast quantitative blood flow measurement. We investigated normal blood flow values for age and sex in the common femoral artery and popliteal artery in 50 healthy volunteers. In addition, we examined reproducibility and determinants of blood flow. Methods: We performed cardiac-triggered phase-contrast quantitative flow measurements in the common femoral artery and popliteal artery, and MRI of the calves in 50 healthy volunteers (age, 26-80 years). Ten persons underwent MRI three times, to analyze reproducibility. Results: All measurements were technically successful. Mean blood flow was 353 mL/min in the femoral artery and 61.9 mL/min in the popliteal artery. Coefficient of variation of femoral measurements was 16%, and of popliteal measurements was 19%. Femoral blood flow was significantly related to age and sex. Popliteal blood flow was significantly related to calf muscle volume, adjusted for age and sex. Conclusion: Normal values for blood flow to the legs are presented. The measurements have reasonable reproducibility. Blood flow to the legs depends on age, sex, and calf muscle volume.
Klein, W. M., Bartels, L. W., Bax, L., Van der Graaf, Y., & Mali, W. P. T. M. (2003). Magnetic resonance imaging measurement of blood volume flow in peripheral arteries in healthy subjects. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 38(5), 1060–1066. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0741-5214(03)00706-7