Quantitative cerebral MR perfusion imaging: preliminary results in stroke

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Oct;32(4):796-802. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22302.


Purpose: To evaluate quantitative cerebral blood flow (qCBF) with traditional time-based measurements or metrics of cerebral perfusion: time to peak (Tmax) and mean transit time (MTT) in stroke patients.

Materials and methods: Nine ischemic stroke patients (four male, five female, 63 ± 16 years old) were included in the study which was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant and institutional review board approved. Cerebral perfusion was quantified using the Bookend method. Mean values of qCBF, Tmax, and MTT were determined in regions of interest (ROIs). ROIs were drawn on diffusion weighted images in diffusion positive, critically ischemic (CI), in ipsilateral normal region immediately surrounding the critically ischemic region, the presumed penumbra (PP), and in contralateral diffusion negative control, presumed normal region (PN) of gray and white matter separately (GM and WM).

Results: In both GM and WM, qCBF measures distinguished the studied brain regions with the most markedly reduced values in regions corresponding to extent of likely ischemic injury. In planned comparisons, only qCBF measurements differed significantly between CI and PP tissues. ROC analysis supported the utility of qCBF for discriminating brain regions differing in the likely extent of ischemic injury (CI and PN regions - qCBF: area under the curve [AUC] = 0.96, Tmax: AUC = 0.96, MTT: AUC = 0.72). Importantly, qCBF afforded the best discrimination of CI and PP regions (qCBF: AUC = 0.82, Tmax: AUC = 0.65, MTT: AUC = 0.52).

Conclusion: This initial evaluation indicates that quantitative MRI perfusion is feasible in ischemic stroke patients. qCBF derived with this strategy provide enhanced discrimination of CI and PP compared to time-based imaging metrics. This approach merits investigation in larger clinical studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Area Under Curve
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perfusion Imaging / methods*
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Outcome