Cerebrovascular reserve capacity in patients with occlusive cerebrovascular disease: assessment with dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced MR imaging and the acetazolamide stimulation test

Radiology. 1996 Nov;201(2):405-12. doi: 10.1148/radiology.201.2.8888232.


Purpose: To quantitatively assess cerebrovascular reserve capacity in patients with occlusive cerebrovascular disease.

Materials and methods: In 21 symptomatic patients with occlusive cerebrovascular disease, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed with a 1.5-T system. Before, during, and after a brief bolus injection of gadopentetate dimeglumine into the antecubital vain, a series of 32 rapid T2*-weighted gradient-echo images of two different sections were acquired simultaneously to measure the concentration-time-curves in the brain tissue and in the brain-feeding arteries. Principles of indicator dilution analysis were applied to compute regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and volume. Each patient underwent two examinations, the first before and the second after acetazolamide stimulation.

Results: In the asymptomatic hemisphere, a mean increase in rCBF value of 47.1% was observed after acetazolamide stimulation. In the affected areas of the symptomatic hemisphere, a statistically significantly reduced response to acetazolamide stimulation was found, indicating a severely compromised cerebrovascular reserve capacity.

Conclusion: MR imaging with the described techniques provides quantitative information about the cerebrovascular reserve capacity in patients with occlusive cerebrovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Volume
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation* / drug effects
  • Contrast Media*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnosis*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Meglumine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Pentetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*


  • Contrast Media
  • Drug Combinations
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Meglumine
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Acetazolamide