Reduction in cerebral blood flow in areas appearing as white matter hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging

Psychiatry Res. 2009 May 15;172(2):117-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2008.11.006. Epub 2009 Mar 25.


The purpose of this study was to examine cerebral blood flow (CBF) as measured by arterial spin labeling (ASL) in tissue classified as white matter hyperintensities (WMH), normal appearing white matter, and grey matter. Seventeen healthy older adults received structural and ASL MRI. Cerebral blood flow was derived for three tissue types: WMH, normal appearing white matter, and grey matter. Cerebral blood flow was lower in WMH areas relative to normal appearing white matter, which in turn, was lower than grey matter. Regions with consistently lower CBF across individuals were more likely to appear as WMH. Results are consistent with an emerging literature linking diminished regional perfusion with the risk of developing WMH.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regional Blood Flow