Quantitative measurement of spinal cord blood volume in humans using vascular-space-occupancy MRI

Hanzhang Lu, Meng Law, Yulin Ge, Stephen M. Hesseltine, Otto Rapalino, Jens H. Jensen, Joseph A. Helpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although perfusion is of major interest for many spinal cord disorders, there is no established, reproducible technique for evaluating blood flow or blood volume of the spinal cord in humans. Here the first report of in vivo measurement of human spinal cord blood volume (scBV) is presented. An FDA-approved contrast agent, Gd-DTPA, was used as an intravascular agent for the cord parenchyma, and pre-/post-contrast vascular-space-occupancy (VASO) MRI experiments were performed to obtain a quantitative estimation of scBV in mL blood/100 mL tissue. VASO MRI was used because it does not rely on knowledge of an arterial input function, it avoids the imaging artifacts of single-shot echo planar imaging approaches, and it requires only relatively simple and direct calculations for scBV quantification. Preliminary tests at 1.5 T and 3 T gave mean ± SD scBV values of 4.3±0.7ml/100mL tissue (n = 6) and 4.4±0.7ml/100mL tissue (n=4), respectively, consistent with the expectation that the scBV values would not be field-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalNMR in biomedicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Contrast agent
  • Perfusion
  • Quantification
  • Spinal cord blood volume
  • Vascular-space-occupancy MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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