Purpose: The limited clinical availability of currently used methods to measure regional cerebral blood volume (CBV) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) represents an important restriction. We undertook this study to evaluate a new dynamic CT method to measure CBV and CBF in normal and ischemic tissue.
Method: A total of 21 dynamic CT studies were performed in seven male beagles. The contrast enhancement curves of the carotid arteries and of various brain regions were deconvolved to obtain CBV and CBF. The stability of the deconvolution method employed was assessed by comparing three data sets obtained by analyses of one, two, and four regions of interest (ROIs), all covering the entire brain area. The accuracy of CT-derived CBF was analyzed for normal (n = 5 studies) and ischemic (n = 7 studies) brain tissue using fluorescent microspheres. Repetitive CT studies were performed to evaluate the precision of the CT measurements.
Results: The stability of the deconvolution method was high with variabilities of 2.3% (CBV), 5.9% (CBF), and 8.9% (mean transit time), respectively. The correlation between the CT and the microsphere measurements was good for both normal and ischemia studies (r > 0.78, slope > 0.9). The variability of the CT CBF (30.6%) was higher than that of the CT CBV (12.3%) measurements.
Conclusion: Our novel dynamic CT method is stable with respect to the sizes of ROIs used, allowing for accurate measurements of CBV and CBF in both normal and ischemic tissue. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the variability of this method under controlled physiologic conditions.