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J Magn Reson Imaging. 1997 Mar-Apr;7(2):347-52.

Flow velocity of the cortical vein and its effect on functional brain MRI at 1.5T: preliminary results by cine-MR venography.

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Department of Radiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the effect of altering flow velocity of cerebral cortical veins as the source of the signal change observed in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain. 10 healthy volunteers were examined after instructions in self-paced hand grasping. Experiments were performed using a 1.5-Tesla whole body MR scanner with a conventional two-dimensional gradient echo sequence (TR/TE/flip angle 400/60/40, first order flow rephased, reduced band width 8 Hz/pixel). Flow velocity measurements were performed for the cortical veins which corresponded to the activated areas depicted on fMRI. Velocity was estimated from the cine-MR venography (cine-MRV) with a tagging technique. Flow phantom studies were performed to delineate the effect of flow velocity differences upon the subtraction images of fMRI. The cine-MRV revealed increased flow velocity of the cortical veins during activation in seven volunteers, with a mean velocity difference of 15 mm/sec. Flow phantom studies suggested that the increased flow velocity may result in changes of the flow signal profile due to oblique flow displacement. Subtraction of the two images with different flow profiles produces flow signal enhancement. Increased flow velocity of the cortical veins during the activation is an important factor which contributes to the signal of fMRI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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