Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nucl Med. 2000 Nov;41(11):1842-8.

Does cerebral blood flow decline in healthy aging? A PET study with partial-volume correction.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


It remains a matter of controversy as to whether cerebral perfusion declines with healthy aging. In vivo imaging with PET permits quantitative evaluation of brain physiology; however, previous PET studies have inconsistently reported aging reductions in cerebral blood flow (CBF), oxygen metabolism, and glucose metabolism. In part, this may be because of a lack of correction for the dilution effect of age-related cerebral volume loss on PET measurements.


CBF PET scans were obtained using [15O]H2O in 27 healthy individuals (age range, 19-76 y) and corrected for partial-volume effects from cerebral atrophy using an MR-based algorithm.


There was a significant difference (P = 0.01) in mean cortical CBF between young/midlife (age range, 19-46 y; mean +/- SD, 56+/-10 mL/100 mL/min) and elderly (age range, 60-76 y; mean +/- SD, 49+/-2.6 mL/100 mL/min) subgroups before correcting for partial-volume effects. However, this group difference resolved after partial-volume correction (young/midlife: mean +/- SD, 62+/-10 mL/100 mL/min; elderly: mean +/- SD, 61+/-4.8 mL/100 mL/min; P = 0.66). When all subjects were considered, a mild but significant inverse correlation between age and cortical CBF measurements was present in the uncorrected but not the corrected data.


This study suggests that CBF may not decline with age in healthy individuals and that failure to correct for the dilution effect of age-related cerebral atrophy may confound interpretation of previous PET studies that have shown aging reductions in physiologic measurements.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk