Quantification of cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and blood-brain-barrier leakage with DCE-MRI

Magn Reson Med. 2009 Jul;62(1):205-17. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22005.


Dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI) is the current standard for the measurement of Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF) and Cerebral Blood Volume (CBV), but it is not suitable for the measurement of Extraction Flow (EF) and may not allow for absolute quantification. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a methodology to measure CBF, CBV, and EF from T1-weighted dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI). A two-compartment modeling approach was developed, which applies both to tissues with an intact and with a broken Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB). The approach was evaluated using measurements in normal grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) and in tumors of 15 patients. Accuracy and precision were estimated with simulations of normal brain tissue. All tumor and normal tissue curves were accurately fitted by the model. CBF (mL/100 mL/min) was 82 +/- 21 in GM and 23 +/- 14 in WM, CBV (mL/100 mL) was 2.6 +/- 0.8 in GM and 1.3 +/- 0.4 in WM. EF (mL/100 mL/min) was close to zero in GM (-0.009 +/- 0.05) and WM (-0.03 +/- 0.08). Simulations show an overlap between CBF values of WM and GM, which is eliminated when Contrast-to-Noise (CNR) is improved. The model provides a consistent description of tracer kinetics in all brain tissues, and an accurate assessment of perfusion and permeability in reference tissues. The measurement sequence requires optimization to improve CNR and the precision in the perfusion parameters. With this approach, DCE-MRI presents a promising alternative to DSC-MRI for quantitative bolus-tracking in the brain.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Blood Volume*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / pathology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology*
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Contrast Media
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media