Phase-contrast magnetic resonance angiography measurements of global cerebral blood flow in the neonate.
ABSTRACT Cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations are important in pathogenesis of neonatal ischemic/hemorrhagic brain damage. In clinical practice, estimation of neonatal CBF is mostly based on Doppler-measured blood flow velocities in major intracranial arteries. Using phase-contrast magnetic resonance angiography (PC-MRA), global CBF can be estimated, but there is limited neonatal experience. The objective of this study was to gain experience with PC-MRA for the determination of global CBF in neonates. In infants eligible for MRI, PC-MRA global CBF was determined by measuring volume blood flow in both internal carotid arteries (ICAs) and basilar artery (BA). Thirty newborns (GA, 25.7-42.1 wk; weight, 1050-5858 g; postconceptional age, 225-369 d) were investigated. Total PC-MRA CBF ranged from 27 to 186 mL/min. Significant correlations between PC-MRA CBF and postconceptional age and weight were detected. When calculating PC-MRA measured CBF per kilogram body weight, brain perfusion was about stable over the range of postconceptional ages and ranged between 11 and 48 mL/min/kg (median, 25 mL/min/kg). In conclusion, neonatal PC-MRA CBF seems to be a useful technique to estimate noninvasive CBF.