Optimization of phase-contrast MRI for the estimation of global cerebral blood flow of mice at 11.7T

Zhiliang Wei, Lin Chen, Zixuan Lin, Dengrong Jiang, Jiadi Xu, Peiying Liu, Peter C.M. van Zijl, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To optimize phase-contrast (PC) MRI for the measurement of global cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the mouse at 11.7T. Methods: We determined proper velocity encoding (VENC) for internal carotid arteries (ICAs) and vertebral arteries (VAs). Next, we optimized spatial resolution of the sequence. To shorten scan time without compromising data quality, we further optimized repetition time and developed a reduced field-of-view (FOV) scheme for ICA and VA PC MRI. Whole-brain volume was determined with T2-weighted image to obtain unit-volume CBF. Results: Peak flow velocities were 13.8 ± 1.7, 14.4 ± 0.6, 6.5 ± 1.7, and 6.7 ± 1.3 cm/s for left ICA, right ICA, left VA, and right VA, respectively. Thus, VENC values of 20 and 10 cm/s were chosen for ICA and VA PC MRI, respectively. An in-plane spatial resolution of 50 × 50 μm2 was found to provide a reasonable trade-off between reducing partial-volume effects and maintaining signal-to-noise ratio. Because of the fact that saturated spins in the imaging slice are rapidly replaced by fresh spins, TR of the sequence can be decreased to as short as 15 ms without reducing signal intensity, thereby substantially lowering scan time. Moreover, reduced FOV along the phase-encoding direction was able to shorten scan time by 33.3% while maintaining measurement accuracy. With these optimizations, it took 96 seconds to evaluate CBF with a test-retest variability of approximately 5% and an inter-rater correlation of >0.95. Global unit-volume CBF was found to be 279.5 ± 11.1 mL of blood/100 ml of tissue/min. Conclusion: We have optimized PC MRI for noninvasive quantification of blood flow in mice at 11.7T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2566-2575
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • cerebral blood flow
  • internal carotid artery
  • maximum blood velocity
  • partial volume effect
  • spatial folding
  • spatial resolution
  • vertebral artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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