Indexed on: 30 Jun '11Published on: 30 Jun '11Published in: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Venous oxygen saturation (Y(v) ) in cerebral veins and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)) are important indicators for brain function and disease. Although MRI has been used for global measurements of these parameters, currently there is no recognized technique to quantify regional Y(v) and CMRO(2) using noninvasive imaging. This article proposes a technique to quantify CMRO(2) from independent MRI estimates of Y(v) and cerebral blood flow. The approach uses standard gradient-echo and arterial spin labeling acquisitions to make these measurements. Using MR susceptometry on gradient-echo phase images, Y(v) was quantified for candidate vein segments in gray matter that approximate a long cylinder parallel to the main magnetic field. Local cerebral blood flow for the identified vessel was determined from a corresponding region in the arterial spin labeling perfusion map. Fick's principle of arteriovenous difference was then used to quantify CMRO(2) locally around each vessel. Application of this method in young, healthy subjects provided gray matter averages of 59.6% ± 2.3% for Y(v), 51.7 ± 6.4 mL/100 g/min for cerebral blood flow, and 158 ± 18 μmol/100 g/min for CMRO(2) (mean ± SD, n = 12), which is consistent with values previously reported by positron emission tomography and MRI.