Perfusion deficits in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a military population were characterized by dynamic susceptibility contrast perfusion imaging. Relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was calculated by a model-independent deconvolution approach from the tracer concentration curves following a bolus injection of gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (Gd-DTPA) using both manually and automatically selected arterial input functions (AIFs). Linear regression analysis of the mean values of rCBF from selected regions of interest showed a very good agreement between the two approaches, with a regression coefficient of R = 0.88 and a slope of 0.88. The Bland-Altman plot also illustrated the good agreement between the two approaches, with a mean difference of 0.6 ± 12.4 mL/100 g/min. Voxelwise analysis of rCBF maps from both approaches demonstrated multiple clusters of decreased perfusion (p < 0.01) in the cerebellum, cuneus, cingulate and temporal gyrus in the group with mild TBI relative to the controls. MRI perfusion deficits in the cerebellum and anterior cingulate also correlated (p < 0.01) with neurocognitive results, including the mean reaction time in the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics and commission error and detection T-scores in the Continuous Performance Test, as well as neurobehavioral scores in the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version. In conclusion, rCBF calculated using AIFs selected from an automated approach demonstrated a good agreement with the corresponding results using manually selected AIFs. Group analysis of patients with mild TBI from a military population demonstrated scattered perfusion deficits, which showed significant correlations with measures of verbal memory, speed of reaction time and self-report of stress symptoms.
Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.