Quantification of blood flow in the middle cerebral artery with phase-contrast MR imaging

Eur Radiol. 2000;10(11):1795-800. doi: 10.1007/s003300000378.


The aim of this study was to assess blood flow in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) according to age, gender, and side. Eighty-eight subjects without carotid obstruction were measured for mean velocity, vessel area, and volume flow rates of both MCA with phase-contrast MR. A high-resolution sequence with a matrix of 300 x 512 and a double oblique localizing strategy was used for measurement. A mean velocity of 33 +/- 6.8 cm/s, a mean vessel area of 6.2 +/- 1.2 mm2 and a mean flow rate of 121 +/- 28 ml/min were measured in the MCA. Lower volume flow rates were seen in subjects aged over 50 years (p < 0.01). When comparing women with men, a lower vessel area (p < 0.05) of the MCA was counterbalanced by a higher velocity, resulting in no significant difference of the volume flow rate. No difference occurred between the right and the left side. Flow reduction occurs in the elderly. A lower vessel area of the MCA in women is compensated by a higher velocity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • Cerebral Arterial Diseases / pathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Sex Factors