Multiplexed MRI methods for rapid estimation of global cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption
The global cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2), which reflects metabolic activity of the brain under various physiologic conditions, can be quantified using a method, referred to as ‘OxFlow’, which simultaneously measures hemoglobin oxygen saturation in a draining vein (Yv) and total cerebral blood flow (tCBF). Conventional OxFlow (Conv-OxFlow) entails four interleaves incorporated in a single pulse sequence – two for phase-contrast based measurement of tCBF in the supplying arteries of the neck, and two to measure the intra- to extravascular phase difference in the superior sagittal sinus to derive Yv [Jain et al., JCBFM 2010]. However, this approach limits achievable temporal resolution thus precluding capture of rapid changes of brain metabolic states such as the response to apneic stimuli. Here, we developed a time-efficient, multiplexed OxFlow method and evaluated its potential for measuring dynamic alterations in global CMRO2 during a breath-hold challenge. Two different implementations of multiplexed OxFlow were investigated: 1) simultaneous-echo-refocusing based OxFlow (SER-OxFlow) and 2) simultaneous-multi-slice imaging-based dual-band OxFlow (DB-OxFlow). The two sequences were implemented on 3 T scanners (Siemens TIM Trio and Prisma) and their performance was evaluated in comparison to Conv-OxFlow in ten healthy subjects for baseline CMRO2 quantification. Comparison of measured parameters (Yv, tCBF, CMRO2) revealed no significant bias of SER-OxFlow and DB-OxFlow, with respect to the reference Conv-OxFlow while improving temporal resolution two-fold (12.5 versus 25 s). Further acceleration shortened scan time to 8 and 6 s for SER and DB-OxFlow, respectively, for time-resolved CMRO2 measurement. The two sequences were able of capturing smooth transitions of Yv, tCBF, and CMRO2 over the time course consisting of 30 s of normal breathing, 30 s of volitional apnea, and 90 s of recovery. While both SER- and DB-OxFlow techniques provide significantly improved temporal resolution (by a factor of 3 – 4 relative to Conv-OxFlow), DB-OxFlow was found to be superior for the study of short physiologic stimuli.