Increase in cerebral blood flow indicated by increased cerebral arterial area and pixel intensity on brain magnetic resonance angiogram following correction of cervical lordosis

Brain Circ. Jan-Mar 2019;5(1):19-26. doi: 10.4103/bc.bc_25_18. Epub 2019 Mar 27.


Context: Loss of cervical lordosis is associated with decreased vertebral artery hemodynamics.

Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate cerebral blood flow changes on brain magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) in patients with loss of cervical lordosis before and following correction of cervical lordosis.

Settings and design: This study is a retrospective consecutive case series of patients in a private practice.

Materials and methods: Cervical lordosis of seven patients (five females and two males, 28-58 years) was measured on lateral cervical radiographs ranging from -13.1° to 19.0° (ideal is -42.0°). Brain MRAs were analyzed for pixel intensities representing blood flow. Pixel intensity of the cerebral vasculature was quantified, and percentage change was determined.

Statistical analysis used: A Student's t-test established significance of the percentage change in cerebral blood flow between pre- and postcervical lordosis adjustment images. Regression analysis was performed. An a priori analysis determined correlation between cervical lordosis and change in MRA pixel intensity. The statistician was blinded to the cervical lordosis.

Results: Pixel intensity increased 23.0%-225.9%, and a Student's t-test determined that the increase was significant (P < 0.001). Regression analysis of the change in pixel intensity versus the cervical lordosis showed that as the deviation from a normal cervical lordosis increases, percentage change in pixel intensity on MRA decreases.

Conclusion: These results indicate that correction of cervical lordosis may be associated with an immediate increase in cerebral blood flow. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and understand clinical implications.

Keywords: Brain magnetic resonance angiogram; Cervical Denneroll™; cerebral artery; cerebral blood flow; cervical lordosis.