Correlative assessment of cerebral blood flow obtained with perfusion CT and positron emission tomography in symptomatic stenotic carotid disease

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Twelve patients with ICA stenosis underwent dynamic perfusion computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) studies at rest and after acetazolamide challenge. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) maps on perfusion CT resulted from a deconvolution of parenchymal time-concentration curves by an arterial input function (AIF) in the anterior cerebral artery as well as in both anterior choroidal arteries. CBF was measured by [15O]H2O PET using multilinear least-squares minimization procedure based on the one-compartment model. In corresponding transaxial PET scans, CBF values were extracted using standardized ROIs. The baseline perfusion CT-CBF values were lower in perfusion CT than in PET (P>0.05). CBF values obtained by perfusion CT were significantly correlated with those measured by PET before (P<0.05) and after (P<0.01) acetazolamide challenge. Nevertheless, the cerebrovascular reserve capacity was overestimated (P=0.05) using perfusion CT measurements. The AIF selection relative to the side of carotid stenosis did not significantly affect calculated perfusion CT-CBF values. In conclusion, the perfusion CT-CBF measurements correlate significantly with the PET-CBF measurements in chronic carotid stenotic disease and contribute useful information to the evaluation of the altered cerebral hemodynamics.

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