Investigations on the effect of caffeine on cerebral venous vessel contrast by using susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) at 1.5, 3 and 7 T

Neuroimage. 2008 Mar 1;40(1):11-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.11.046. Epub 2007 Dec 8.


Caffeine lowers the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal by acting as an adenosine antagonist, thus decreasing the cerebral blood flow (CBF). The aims of this study were to demonstrate the sensitivity of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) to caffeine-induced changes in CBF and to investigate the time course and magnitude of signal change in caffeine-habituated and -abstinent volunteers. High-resolution susceptibility-weighted images were acquired with both groups at 1.5 T using a fully velocity compensated 3D gradient echo sequence. Following a native scan, subjects were given a tablet containing 200 mg of caffeine. Scans were repeated for about 1 h and the acquired 3D data sets were co-registered to each other. BOLD signal changes of several venous vessels were analyzed in dedicated ROIs. Maps of relative signal change clearly visualized the caffeine-induced signal response of veins. Only very weak signal changes of about -2+/-1% were found in both, grey and white matter and -1+/-2% in the ventricles. Maximum signal decrease of veins occurred 40-50 min after caffeine ingestion. The signal decrease was -16.5+/-6.5% and -22.7+/-8.3% for the caffeine users group and abstainers, respectively. The signal difference of both groups was statistically significant (Student's t-test, t=2.16, p=0.021). Data acquired at 1.5, 3 and 7 T with echo times scaled to the respective field strength display very similar temporal signal behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Cerebral Veins / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Veins / drug effects
  • Cerebral Ventricles / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / drug effects
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine
  • Oxygen