Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate if non-invasive Arterial Spin Labeling MR imaging can be used to assess changes in brain perfusion with age which reflect neonatal brain development. For this purpose regional perfusion values obtained with ASL MR imaging were evaluated as a function of postmenstrual age. Materials and methods: Pulsed ASL imaging was performed in 33 neonates with a postmenstrual age from 30 to 53 weeks. Whole brain cerebral blood flow (wbCBF), CBF in the basal ganglia and thalamus (BGT-CBF), in the occipital cortex (OC-CBF) and the frontal cortex (FC-CBF) were measured. Regional CBF values were expressed quantitatively (in ml/100 g min) and relative as a percentage of the wbCBF. Results: Mean wbCBF increased significantly from 7 ± 2 ml/100 g min (mean ± sd) at 31 ± 2 weeks postmenstrual age to 12 ± 3 ml/100 g min at term-equivalent age (TEA) and 29 ± 9 ml/100 g min at 52 ± 1 weeks postmenstrual age. Relative regional CBF was highest in the BGT at all time-points. Relative OC-and FC-CBF increased significantly from 31 ± 2 weeks postmentrual age to TEA. A significant difference in relative BGT-CBF and OC-CBF was shown between infants at 31 ± 2 weeks postmenstrual age and infants scanned at 52 ± 1 weeks postmenstrual age. Relative perfusion in the BGT measured at TEA was significant different compared to 52 ± 1 weeks postmenstrual age. Conclusion: In conclusion, regional differences in CBF and changes with postmenstrual age could be detected with ASL in neonates. This suggests that ASL can be used as a non-invasive tool to investigate brain maturation in neonates.
- Arterial Spin Labeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging