A new method for quantitative regional cerebral blood volume measurements using computed tomography

Jan Paul Muizelaar, Panos P. Fatouros, Marc L. Schröder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Knowledge of cerebral blood volume (CBV) is invaluable in identifying the primary cause of brain swelling in patients with stroke or severe head injury, and it might be help in clinical decision making in patient thought to have hemodynamic transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). This investigations concerned with the development and clinical application of a new method for quantitative regional CBV measurements. Methods: The technique is based on consecutive measurements of cerebral blood flow (CBF) by xenon/CT and tissue mean transit time (MTT) by dynamic CT after a rapid iodinated contrast bolus injection. CBV maps are produced by multiplication of the CBF and MTT maps in accordance with the Central Volume Principle: CBV = CBF x MTT. The method is rapid and easily implemented on CT scanners with the xenon/CBF capability. It yields CBV values expressed in milliliters of blood per 100 grams of tissue. Results: The method was validated under controlled physical conditions using changes that were determined both with our technique and from pressure-volume index (PVI) measurements. The two independent estimates of CBV changes were in agreement within 15%. CBV measurements using this method were carried out in normal volunteers to establish baseline values and to compare with values using the ratio-of-areas method for calculating both CBF and CBV from the dynamic study alone. Average CBV was 5.3 mL/100 g. The method was also applied in 71 patients with severe head injuries and in 1 patient with hemodynamic TIAs. Conclusions: The primary conclusions from this study were (1) the proposed method for measuring CBV accurately determines changes in CBV; (2) the MTT x CBF determinations are in agreement with the ratio-of-areas method for CBV measurements in normal volunteers and are consistent with other methods reported in the literature; (3) MTTs are significantly prolonged early after severe head injury, which when combined with the finding of decreased CBF and increased arteriovenous difference of oxygen indicates increased cerebrovascular resistance due to narrowing of the microcirculation consistent with the presence of early ischemia; and (4) CBV in the patient with TIAs was increased in the hemisphere with the occluded internal carotid artery, indicating compensatory vasodilation and probable hemodynamic cause.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1998-2005
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral blood volume
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Tomography, emission computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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