Background and aim Little is known about brain perfusion in neonates and its relation with brain development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging can be used to evaluate the relation between brain perfusion and brain development.
Methods Pulsed ASL-images (Philips-3T) were acquired of 31 infants. Six infants were imaged at preterm age, 23 infants at term equivalent age (TEA) and 2 infants at 3-months equivalent age (3m). Serial MR imaging was performed in 4 infants. Total brain perfusion (TBP) was measured for each infant. Regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn within the occipital cortex (OC), the frontal cortex (FC) and one ROI covered the basal ganglia and thalamus (BGT). Perfusion values measured in the ROIs were expressed relative toTBP.
Results TBP increased from preterm age (7.1ml/100g.min) to TEA (12.6ml/100g.min) to 3m (30.2ml/100g.min). A relative decrease in perfusion towards the BGT and a relative increase towards the OC and FC was measured with increasing postconceptional age [fig 1]. Serial ASL images of one infant scanned at preterm [Fig.2a] and TEA [Fig.2B] are shown.
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