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Magn Reson Med. 2014 Feb;71(2):580-90. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24694.

Non-invasive quantification of absolute cerebral blood volume during functional activation applicable to the whole human brain.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, School of Medicine, Magnetic Resonance Research Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



Cerebral blood volume (CBV) changes in many diverse pathologic conditions, and in response to functional challenges along with changes in blood flow, blood oxygenation, and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen. The feasibility of a new method for non-invasive quantification of absolute cerebral blood volume that can be applicable to the whole human brain was investigated.


Multi-slice data were acquired at 3 T using a novel inversion recovery echo planar imaging (IR-EPI) pulse sequence with varying contrast weightings and an efficient rotating slice acquisition order, at rest and during visual activation. A biophysical model was used to estimate absolute cerebral blood volume at rest and during activation, and oxygenation during activation, on data from 13 normal human subjects.


Cerebral blood volume increased by 21.7% from 6.6 ± 0.8 mL/100 mL of brain parenchyma at rest to 8.0 ± 1.3 mL/100 mL of brain parenchyma in the occipital cortex during visual activation, with average blood oxygenation of 84 ± 2.1% during activation, comparing well with literature.


The method is feasible, and could foster improved understanding of the fundamental physiological relationship between neuronal activity, hemodynamic changes, and metabolism underlying brain activation; complement existing methods for estimating compartmental changes; and potentially find utility in evaluating vascular health.

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