Brain perfusion: computed tomography and magnetic resonance techniques

Handb Clin Neurol. 2016;135:117-135. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53485-9.00006-4.


Cerebral perfusion imaging provides assessment of regional microvascular hemodynamics in the living brain, enabling in vivo measurement of a variety of different hemodynamic parameters. Perfusion imaging techniques that are used in the clinical setting usually rely upon X-ray computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This chapter reviews CT- and MRI-based perfusion imaging techniques, with attention to image acquisition, clinically relevant aspects of image postprocessing, and fundamental differences between CT- and MRI-based techniques. Correlations with cerebrovascular physiology and potential clinical applications of perfusion imaging are reviewed, focusing upon the two major classes of neurologic disease in which perfusion imaging is most often performed: primary perfusion disorders (including ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, and reperfusion syndrome), and brain tumors.

Keywords: brain; brain ischemia; brain neoplasms; diagnostic imaging; hemodynamics; ischemic attack (transient); magnetic resonance imaging; tomography (X-ray computed).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain* / blood supply
  • Brain* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain* / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*