Molecular Imaging of Cerebrovascular Reactivity

Audrey P. Fan, Oriol Puig Calvo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Positron emission tomography (PET) with [15O]H2O is the clinical reference standard for assessment of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR). This molecular imaging technique measures the brain’s uptake of an exogenous, radioactive tracer and fits kinetic models to these measurements to quantify perfusion at rest and after a vasoactive challenge. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [99mTc]-labelled perfusion agents provides relative (non-quantitative) regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). This chapter describes the theory, acquisition, and modelling aspects of nuclear medicine methods to measure CVR, with focus on [15O]H2O PET. The reliability of the CVR imaging biomarkers and their ability to identify hemodynamic impairment in neurovascular disorders are described. We also discuss the advantages and limitations of the approach and highlight technical advances including hybrid imaging with simultaneous PET/MRI to improve the accuracy and reduce the invasiveness of the methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuromethods
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045


  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cerebrovascular reactivity
  • Kinetic modelling
  • Moyamoya
  • PET
  • [O]HO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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