Determination of whole-brain oxygen extraction fractions by fast measurement of blood T2 in the jugular vein

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The oxygen extraction fraction of the brain reports on the balance between oxygen delivery and consumption and can be used to assess deviations in physiological homeostasis. This is relevant clinically as well as for calibrating blood oxygen level-dependent functional MRI responses. Oxygen extraction fraction is reflected in the arteriovenous difference in oxygen saturation fraction (Yv - Ya), which can be determined from venous T2 values when arterial oxygenation is known. A pulse sequence is presented that allows rapid measurement (<1 min) of blood T 2s in the internal jugular vein. The technique combines slice-saturation and blood inflow to attain high signal-to-noise ratio in blood and minimal contamination from tissue. The sequence is sensitized to T 2 using a nonselective Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill T2 preparation directly after slice saturation. Fast scanning (pulse repetition time of about 2 sec) is possible by using a nonselective saturation directly after acquisition to rapidly achieve steady-state longitudinal magnetization. The venous T2 (for 10 msec Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill interecho time) for normal volunteers was 62.4 ± 6.1 msec (n = 20). A calibration curve relating T2 to blood oxygenation was established using a blood perfusion phantom. Using this calibration, a whole-brain oxygen extraction fraction of 0.37 ± 0.04 was determined (n = 20), in excellent agreement with literature values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill
  • internal jugular vein
  • oxygen extraction fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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