Quantitative MRI of Cerebral Arterial Blood Volume

Tae Kim, Seong-Gi Kim*
Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA

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© Kim and Kim; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, 3025 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, USA; Tel: 412-383-8011; Fax: 412-383-6799 ; E-mail:


Baseline cerebral arterial blood volume (CBVa) and its change are important for potential diagnosis of vascular dysfunctions, the determination of functional reactivity, and the interpretation of BOLD fMRI. To quantitative measure baseline CBVa non-invasively, we developed arterial spin labeling methods with magnetization transfer (MT) or bipolar gradients by utilizing differential MT or diffusion properties of tissue vs. arteries. Cortical CBVa of isoflurane-anesthetized rats was 0.6 – 1.4 ml/100 g. During 15-s forepaw stimulation, CBVa change was dominant, while venous blood volume change was minimal. This indicates that the venous CBV increase may be ignored for BOLD quantification for a stimulation duration of less than 15 s. By incorporating BOLD fMRI with varied MT effects in a cat visual cortical layer model, the highest ΔCBVa was observed at layer 4, while the highest BOLD signal was detected at the surface of the cortex, indicating that CBVa change is highly specific to neural activity. The CBVa MRI techniques provide quantified maps, thus, may be valuable tools for routine determination of vessel viability and function, as well as the identification of vascular dysfunction.

Keywords: Arterial blood volume, venous blood volume, BOLD, cerebral blood flow, CBF, arterial spin labeling, ASL, fMRI, brain mapping.