Quantitative measurement of brain perfusion with intravoxel incoherent motion MR imaging

Radiology. 2012 Dec;265(3):874-81. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12120584. Epub 2012 Oct 16.


Purpose: To evaluate the sensitivity of the perfusion parameters derived from Intravoxel Incoherent Motion (IVIM) MR imaging to hypercapnia-induced vasodilatation and hyperoxygenation-induced vasoconstriction in the human brain.

Materials and methods: This study was approved by the local ethics committee and informed consent was obtained from all participants. Images were acquired with a standard pulsed-gradient spin-echo sequence (Stejskal-Tanner) in a clinical 3-T system by using 16 b values ranging from 0 to 900 sec/mm(2). Seven healthy volunteers were examined while they inhaled four different gas mixtures known to modify brain perfusion (pure oxygen, ambient air, 5% CO(2) in ambient air, and 8% CO(2) in ambient air). Diffusion coefficient (D), pseudodiffusion coefficient (D*), perfusion fraction (f), and blood flow-related parameter (fD*) maps were calculated on the basis of the IVIM biexponential model, and the parametric maps were compared among the four different gas mixtures. Paired, one-tailed Student t tests were performed to assess for statistically significant differences.

Results: Signal decay curves were biexponential in the brain parenchyma of all volunteers. When compared with inhaled ambient air, the IVIM perfusion parameters D*, f, and fD* increased as the concentration of inhaled CO(2) was increased (for the entire brain, P = .01 for f, D*, and fD* for CO(2) 5%; P = .02 for f, and P = .01 for D* and fD* for CO(2) 8%), and a trend toward a reduction was observed when participants inhaled pure oxygen (although P > .05). D remained globally stable.

Conclusion: The IVIM perfusion parameters were reactive to hyperoxygenation-induced vasoconstriction and hypercapnia-induced vasodilatation. Accordingly, IVIM imaging was found to be a valid and promising method to quantify brain perfusion in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Carbon Dioxide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Vasodilation


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen