Graded reduction of cerebral blood flow in rat as detected by the nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation time T2: a theoretical and experimental approach

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2000 Feb;20(2):316-26. doi: 10.1097/00004647-200002000-00013.


The ability of transverse nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation time, T2, to reveal acutely reduced CBF was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Graded reduction of CBF was produced in rats using a modification of Pulsinelli's four-vessel occlusion model. The CBF in cerebral cortex was quantified using the hydrogen clearance method, and both T2 and the trace of the diffusion tensor (Dav = 1/3TraceD) in the adjacent cortical tissue were determined as a function of reduced CBF at 4.7 T. A previously published theory, interrelating cerebral hemodynamic parameters, hemoglobin, and oxygen metabolism with T2, was used to estimate the effects of reduced CBF on cerebral T2. The MRI data show that T2 reduces in a U-shape manner as a function of CBF, reaching a level that is 2.5 to 2.8 milliseconds (5% to 6%) below the control value at CBF, between 15% and 60% of normal. This reduction could be estimated by the theory using the literature values of cerebral blood volume, oxygen extraction ratio, and precapillary oxygen extraction during compromised CBF. Dav dropped with two apparent flow thresholds, so that a small 11% to 17% reduction occurred between CBF values of 16% to 45% of normal, followed by a precipitous collapse by more than 20% at CBF below 15% of normal. The current data show that T2 can be used as an indicator of acute hypoperfusion because of its ability to indicate blood oxygenation level-dependent phenomena on reduced CBF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Oxygen / analysis
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time / physiology


  • Oxygen