PURPOSE: To compare mean global cerebral blood flow (CBF) measured by phase-contrast mapping magnetic resonance imaging (PCM MRI) and by (15) O-H2 O positron emission tomography (PET) in healthy subjects. PCM MRI is increasingly being used to measure mean global CBF, but has not been validated in vivo against an accepted reference technique.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Same-day measurements of CBF by (15) O-H2 O PET and subsequently by PCM MRI were performed on 22 healthy young male volunteers. Global CBF by PET was determined by applying a one-tissue compartment model with measurement of the arterial input function. Flow was measured in the internal carotid and vertebral arteries by a noncardiac triggered PCM MRI sequence at 3T. The measured flow was normalized to total brain weight determined from a volume-segmented 3D T1 -weighted anatomical MR-scan.
RESULTS: Mean CBF was 34.9 ± 3.4 mL/100 g/min measured by (15) O-H2 O PET and 57.0 ± 6.8 mL/100 g/min measured by PCM MRI. The measurements were highly correlated (P = 0.0008, R(2) = 0.44), although values obtained by PCM MRI were higher compared to (15) O-H2 O PET (absolute and relative differences were 22.0 ± 5.2 mL/100 g/min and 63.4 ± 14.8%, respectively).
CONCLUSION: This study confirms the use of PCM MRI for quantification of global CBF, but also that PCM MRI systematically yields higher values relative to (15) O-H2 O PET, probably related to methodological bias.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016.