Comparison of retinal and cerebral blood flow between continuous arterial spin labeling MRI and fluorescent microsphere techniques

Yen Yu I. Shih, Bryan H. De La Garza, Shiliang Huang, Guang Li, Lin Wang, Timothy Q. Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Purpose To compare basal retinal and cerebral blood flow (BF) values using continuous arterial spin labeling (CASL) MRI and fluorescent microspheres. Materials and Methods A total of 41 animals were used. BF was measured using an established microsphere technique (a mixture of 2.5 million 8 μm green and 0.5 million 10 μm blue fluorescent microspheres) and CASL MRI blood flow measurement in the rat retina and brain at 7 Tesla (T) and 11.7T, respectively. Results Retinal BF by MRI was 1.18 ± 0.57 mL/g/min and choroidal BF was 8.14 ± 1.8 mL/g/min (n = 6). Microsphere retinal BF was 9.12 ± 2.8 μL/min per tissue and choroidal BF was 73.38 ± 44 μL/min per tissue (n = 18), corresponding to a retinal BF value of 1.22 ± 0.36 mL/g/min by means of a wet weight conversion. The wet-weight of the choroid could not be determined. To corroborate our findings, cerebral BF (CBF) by MRI was also analyzed. In the cerebral cortices, CBF was 0.91 ± 0.29 mL/g/min (n = 14) by CASL MRI and 1.09 ± 0.37 mL/g/min (n = 6) by microspheres. There were no significant differences found between MRI and microsphere blood flow in the retina and brain. Conclusion BF values in the rat retina and cerebral cortex by MRI are in agreement with those obtained by the microsphere technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-615
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014



  • MRI
  • blood flow
  • brain
  • choroid
  • microsphere
  • rat
  • retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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