Noninvasive quantification of whole-brain cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) by MRI

Feng Xu, Yulin Ge, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) is an important marker for brain function and brain health. Existing techniques for quantification of CMRO2 with positron emission tomography (PET) or MRI involve special equipment and/or exogenous agents, and may not be suitable for routine clinical studies. In the present study, a noninvasive method is developed to estimate whole-brain CMRO2 in humans. This method applies phase-contrast MRI for quantitative blood flow measurement and T2-relaxation-under-spin- tagging (TRUST) MRI for venous oxygenation estimation, and uses the Fick principle of arteriovenous difference for the calculation of CMRO2. Whole-brain averaged CMRO2 values in young, healthy subjects were 132.1 ± 20.0 μmol/100 g/min, in good agreement with literature reports using PET. Various acquisition strategies for phase-contrast and TRUST MRI were compared, and it was found that nongated phase-contrast and sagittal sinus (SS) TRUST MRI were able to provide the most efficient and accurate estimation of CMRO2. In addition, blood flow and venous oxygenation were found to be positively correlated across subjects. Owing to the noninvasive nature of this method, it may be a convenient and useful approach for assessment of brain metabolism in brain disorders as well as under various physiologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen
  • Internal jugular vein
  • Phase contrast MRI
  • Sagittal sinus
  • Venous oxygenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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