Magnetic resonance imaging quantitation of superior sagittal sinus flow: correlation to cerebral blood flow measured by xenon-enhanced computed tomography

Neurol Res. 1997 Feb;19(1):35-40. doi: 10.1080/01616412.1997.11740769.


We compared measurements of venous blood flow velocity in the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) obtained by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and quantitative measurements of cerebral blood flow (CBF) obtained by xenon-enhanced CT, in neurosurgical patients and normal volunteers, to assess the clinical usefulness of MRI for determination of CBF. Flow measurements were obtained in 15 neurosurgical patients and 3 normal volunteers. SSS velocimetry was performed using the direct bolus imaging technique with a 1.5-tesla MRI system near the point of lambda on a sagittal MR image. Quantitative CBF was measured by xenon-enhanced CT and correlated with SSS flow velocity. We also examined the effect of surgical evacuation of a hematoma or cranioplasty in 3 patients, mannitol in 5 patients and acetazolamide in 4 patients by performing SSS velocimetry. The peak SSS flow velocity during the entire cardiac cycle was 27.2 +/- 6.3 cm sec-1 (mean +/- SD) in normal volunteers and 23.5 +/- 8.9 cm sec-1 in patients. The SSS flow velocity increased after surgery. Mean SSS peak flow velocity increased by 24% and 48% at 10 min after administration of mannitol and acetazolamide, respectively. SSS peak flow velocity showed significant linear correlations with both cerebral cortical (r = 0.74) and hemispheric flows (r = 0.73). Our results suggest that SSS flow velocity reflects CBF and that MRI assessment of SSS flow provides a simple method for assessing and monitoring global changes in cerebral hemodynamics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Female
  • Hematoma, Subdural / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Mannitol
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Xenon


  • Xenon
  • Mannitol
  • Acetazolamide