Three-dimensional mapping of brain venous oxygenation using R2* oximetry

Deng Mao, Yang Li, Peiying Liu, Shin Lei Peng, Jay J. Pillai, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cerebral venous oxygenation (Yv) is an important biomarker for brain diseases. This study aims to develop an R2*-based MR oximetry that can measure cerebral Yv in 3D. Methods: This technique separates blood signal from tissue by velocity-encoding phase contrast and measures the R2* of pure blood by multi-gradient-echo acquisition. The blood R2* was converted to Yv using an R2*-versus-oxygenation (Y) calibration curve, which was obtained by in vitro bovine blood experiments. Reproducibility, sensitivity, validity, and resolution dependence of the technique were evaluated. Results: In vitro R2*-Y calibration plot revealed a strong dependence of blood R2* on oxygenation, with additional dependence on hematocrit. In vivo results demonstrated that the technique can provide a 3D venous oxygenation map that depicts both large sinuses and smaller cortical veins, with venous oxygenation ranging from 57 to 72%. Intrasession coefficient of variation of the measurement was 3.0%. The technique detected an average Yv increase of 10.8% as a result of hyperoxia, which was validated by global oxygenation measurement from T2-Relaxation-Under-Spin-Tagging (TRUST) MRI. Two spatial resolutions, one with an isotropic voxel dimension and the other with a nonisotropic dimension, were tested for full brain coverage. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility of 3D brain oxygenation mapping without using contrast agent. Magn Reson Med 79:1304–1313, 2018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1304-1313
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • MR oximetry
  • blood R2*
  • blood oxygenation
  • hyperoxia
  • phase contrast
  • venogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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