Hippocampal blood flow in normal aging measured with arterial spin labeling at 3T.
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Due to methodological difficulties related to the small size, variable distribution of hippocampal arteries, and the location of the hippocampus in the proximity of middle cranial fossa, little is known about hippocampal blood flow (HBF). We have tested the utility of a pulsed arterial spin labeling sequence based on multi-shot true fast imaging in steady precession to measure HBF in 34 normal volunteers (17 women, 17 men, 26-92 years old). Flow sensitivity to a mild hypercapnic challenge was also examined. Coregistered 3D MPRAGE sequence was used to eliminate from hippocampal and cortical regions of interest all voxel with <75% of gray matter. Large blood vessels were also excluded. HBF in normal volunteers averaged 61.2 ± 9.0 mL/(100 g min). There was no statistically significant age or gender effect. Under a mild hypercapnia challenge (end tidal CO(2) pressure increase of 6.8 ± 1.9 mmHg over the baseline), HBF response was 14.1 ± 10.8 mL/(100 g min), whereas cortical gray matter flow increased by 18.0 ± 12.2 mL/(100 g min). Flow response among women was significantly larger than in the men. The average absolute difference between two successive HBF measures was 3.6 mL/(100 g min) or 5.4%. The 3T true fast imaging in steady precession arterial spin labeling method offers a HBF measurement strategy that combines good spatial resolution, sensitivity, and minimal image distortions. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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