A neuroimaging technique based on the saturation-recovery (SR)-T1 MRI method was applied for simultaneously imaging blood oxygenation level dependence (BOLD) contrast and cerebral blood flow change (ΔCBF), which is determined by CBF-sensitive T1 relaxation rate change (ΔR1CBF). This technique was validated by quantitatively examining the relationships among ΔR1CBF, ΔCBF, BOLD and relative CBF change (rCBF), which was simultaneously measured by laser Doppler flowmetry under global ischemia and hypercapnia conditions, respectively, in the rat brain. It was found that during ischemia, BOLD decreased 23.1±2.8% in the cortical area; ΔR1CBF decreased 0.020±0.004s-1 corresponding to a ΔCBF decrease of 1.07±0.24 ml/g/min and 89.5±1.8% CBF reduction (n=5), resulting in a baseline CBF value (=1.18 ml/g/min) consistent with the literature reports. The CBF change quantification based on temperature corrected ΔR1CBF had a better accuracy than apparent R1 change (ΔR1app); nevertheless, ΔR1app without temperature correction still provides a good approximation for quantifying CBF change since perfusion dominates the evolution of the longitudinal relaxation rate (R1app). In contrast to the excellent consistency between ΔCBF and rCBF measured during and after ischemia, the BOLD change during the post-ischemia period was temporally disassociated with ΔCBF, indicating distinct CBF and BOLD responses. Similar results were also observed for the hypercapnia study. The overall results demonstrate that the SR-T1 MRI method is effective for noninvasive and quantitative imaging of both ΔCBF and BOLD associated with physiological and/or pathological changes.
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© 2015 Wang et al.