Changes to cerebrovasculature function are observed across an array of diseases including various forms of dementia (including Alzheimer Disease (AD)), hypertensive arteriopathy, and cerebral atherosclerosis. The characterization of such diffuse cerebral vascular diseases with imaging or other markers remains challenging. The primary goal of this project is to perform a feasibility study assessing ferumoxytol-enhanced MRI as a means to capture capillary blood volume changes in the brain throughout the cardiac cycle. Blood volume changes are determined by the pressure wave from the heart and the resistance and compliance of the vascular network. Pathologic alterations in arterial, capillary and/or venous blood pulsatility alter metabolite delivery and waste clearance but are currently poorly understood. Recently, we have observed distinguishing differences in pulsatility in large vessels in patients with dementia using measurements from 4D flow. In light of this, a non-invasive method to monitor capillary blood volume pulsatility during the cardiac cycle is desirable as it closes the gap between arterial and venous measurements.
March 2016 to August 2016
This project led by: Tilman Schubert, MD