Quantitative evaluation of oxygenation in venous vessels using T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging MRI

Hanzhang Lu, Yulin Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


Noninvasive measurement of cerebral venous oxygenation can serve as a tool for better understanding fMRI signals and for clinical evaluation of brain oxygen homeostasis. In this study a novel technique, T2-Relaxation-Under-Spin- Tagging (TRUST) MRI, is developed to estimate oxygenation in venous vessels. This method uses the spin labeling principle to automatically isolate pure blood signals from which T2 relaxation times are determined using flow-insensitive T2-preparation pulses. The blood T2 is then converted to blood oxygenation using a calibration plot. In vivo experiments gave a baseline venous oxygenation of 64.8 ± 6.3% in sagittal sinus in healthy volunteers (n = 24). Reproducibility studies demonstrated that the standard deviation across trials was 2.0 ± 1.1%. The effects of repetition time and inversion time selections were investigated. The TRUST technique was further tested using various physiologic challenges. Hypercapnia induced an increase in venous oxygenation by 13.8 ± 1.1%. On the other hand, caffeine ingestion resulted in a decrease in oxygenation by 7.0 ± 1.8%. Contrast agent infusion (Gd-DTPA, 0.1 mmol/kg) reduced venous blood T2 by 11.2 ms. The results of this study show that TRUST MRI is a useful technique for quantitative assessment of blood oxygenation in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Baseline condition
  • Hypercapnia
  • Oxygenation
  • Trust MRI
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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