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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005 Oct;25(10):1265-79.

Functional, perfusion and diffusion MRI of acute focal ischemic brain injury.

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Department of Neurology, Yerkes Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Combined functional, perfusion and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a temporal resolution of 30 mins was performed on permanent and transient focal ischemic brain injury in rats during the acute phase. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), baseline cerebral blood flow (CBF), and functional MRI (fMRI) blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD), CBF, and CMRO(2) responses associated with CO(2) challenge and forepaw stimulation were measured. An automated cluster analysis of ADC and CBF data was used to track the spatial and temporal progression of different tissue types (e.g., normal, 'at risk,' and ischemic core) on a pixel-by-pixel basis. With permanent ischemia (n=11), forepaw stimulation fMRI response in the primary somatosensory cortices was lost, although vascular coupling (CO(2) response) was intact in some animals. Control experiments in which the right common carotid artery was ligated without causing a stroke (n=8) showed that the delayed transit time had negligible effect on the fMRI responses in the primary somatosensory cortices. With temporary (15-mins, n=8) ischemia, transient CBF and/or ADC declines were observed after reperfusion. However, no T(2) or TTC lesions were observed at 24 h except in two animals, which showed very small subcortical lesions. Vascular coupling and forepaw fMRI response also remained intact. Finally, comparison of the relative and absolute fMRI signal changes suggest caution when interpreting percent changes in disease states in which the baseline signals are physiologically altered; quantitative CBF fMRI are more appropriate measures. This approach provides valuable information regarding ischemic tissue viability, vascular coupling, and functional integrity associated with ischemic injury and could have potential clinical applications.

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