Vessel-specific quantification of blood oxygenation with T 2-relaxation-under-phase-contrast MRI

Lisa C. Krishnamurthy, Peiying Liu, Yulin Ge, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose Measurement of venous oxygenation (Yv) is a critical step toward quantitative assessment of brain oxygen metabolism, a key index in many brain disorders. The present study aims to develop a noninvasive, rapid, and reproducible method to measure Yv in a vessel-specific manner. Theory The method, T2-Relaxation-Under-Phase-Contrast MRI, utilizes complex subtraction of phase-contrast to isolate pure blood signal, applies nonslice-selective T2-preparation to measure T2, and converts T2 to oxygenation using a calibration plot. Methods Following feasibility demonstration, several technical aspects were examined, including validation with an established global Yv technique, test-retest reproducibility, sensitivity to detect oxygenation changes due to hypoxia and caffeine challenges, applicability of echo-planar-imaging (EPI) acquisition to shorten scan duration, and ability to study veins with a caliber of 1-2 mm. Results T2-Relaxation-Under-Phase-Contrast was able to simultaneously measure Yv in all major veins in the brain, including sagittal sinus, straight sinus, great vein, and internal cerebral vein. T 2-Relaxation-Under-Phase-Contrast results showed an excellent agreement with the reference technique, high sensitivity to oxygenation changes, and test-retest variability of 3.5 ± 1.0%. The use of segmented-EPI was able to reduce the scan duration to 1.5 minutes. It was also feasible to study pial veins and deep veins. Conclusion T2-Relaxation-Under-Phase- Contrast MRI is a promising technique for vessel-specific oxygenation measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-989
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • TRU-PC
  • blood oxygen saturation
  • small vessel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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