Pseudo-continuous arterial spin labelling MRI for non-invasive, whole-brain, serial quantification of cerebral blood flow following aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Kelly ME., Rowland MJ., Okell TW., Chappell MA., Corkill R., Kerr RS., Westbrook J., Jezzard P., Pattinson KTS.
Delayed cerebral ischaemia (DCI) is the major cause of mortality and morbidity following aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Recent experimental evidence from animal models has highlighted the need for non-invasive and robust measurements of brain tissue perfusion in patients in order to help understand the pathophysiology underlying DCI. Quantitative, serial, whole-brain cerebral perfusion measurements were obtained with pseudo-continuous arterial spin labelling (PCASL) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in six SAH patients acutely following endovascular coiling. This technique requires no injected contrast or radioactive isotopes. MRI scanning was well tolerated. Artefact from endovascular coils was minimal. PCASL MRI was able to detect time-dependent and patient-specific changes in voxel-wise and regional cerebral blood flow. These changes reflected changes in clinical condition. Data obtained in healthy controls using the same experimental protocol confirm the reliability and reproducibility of these results. This is the first study to use whole-brain, quantitative PCASL to identify time-dependent changes in cerebral blood flow at the tissue level in the acute period following SAH. This technique has the potential to better understand changes in cerebral pathophysiology as a consequence of aneurysm rupture.