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OBJECTIVE - Changes in microvascular perfusion have been reported in many diseases, yet the functional significance of altered perfusion is often difficult to determine. This is partly because commonly used techniques for perfusion measurement often rely on either indirect or by-hand approaches.
METHODS - We developed and validated a fully automated software technique to measure microvascular perfusion in videos acquired by fluorescence microscopy in the mouse gastrocnemius. Acute perfusion responses were recorded following intravenous injections with phenylephrine, SNP, or saline.
RESULTS - Software-measured capillary flow velocity closely correlated with by-hand measured flow velocity (R = 0.91, P < 0.0001). Software estimates of capillary hematocrit also generally agreed with by-hand measurements (R = 0.64, P < 0.0001). Detection limits range from 0 to 2000 μm/s, as compared to an average flow velocity of 326 ± 102 μm/s (mean ± SD) at rest. SNP injection transiently increased capillary flow velocity and hematocrit and made capillary perfusion more steady and homogenous. Phenylephrine injection had the opposite effect in all metrics. Saline injection transiently decreased capillary flow velocity and hematocrit without influencing flow distribution or stability. All perfusion metrics were temporally stable without intervention.
CONCLUSIONS - These results demonstrate a novel and sensitive technique for reproducible, user-independent quantification of microvascular perfusion.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Conventional Doppler ultrasound is useful for visualizing fast blood flow in large resolvable vessels. However, frame rate and tissue clutter caused by movement of the patient or sonographer make visualizing slow flow with ultrasound difficult. Patient and sonographer motion causes spectral broadening of the clutter signal, which limits ultrasound's sensitivity to velocities greater than 5-10 mm/s for typical clinical imaging frequencies. To address this, we propose a clutter filtering technique that may increase the sensitivity of Doppler measurements to at least as low as 0.52 mm/s. The proposed technique uses plane wave imaging and an adaptive frequency and amplitude demodulation scheme to decrease the bandwidth of tissue clutter. To test the performance of the adaptive demodulation method at suppressing tissue clutter bandwidths due to sonographer hand motion alone, six volunteer subjects acquired data from a stationary phantom. Additionally, to test in vivo feasibility, arterial occlusion and muscle contraction studies were performed to assess the efficiency of the proposed filter at preserving signals from blood velocities 2 mm/s or greater at a 7.8 MHz center frequency. The hand motion study resulted in initial average bandwidths of 175 Hz (8.60mm/s), which were decreased to 10.5 Hz (0.52 mm/s) at -60 dB using our approach. The in vivo power Doppler studies resulted in 4.73 dB and 4.80 dB dynamic ranges of the blood flow with the proposed filter and 0.15 dB and 0.16 dB dynamic ranges of the blood flow with a conventional 50 Hz high-pass filter for the occlusion and contraction studies, respectively.
In a retrospective cohort study, we tested the hypothesis that when prescribing hydroxyurea (HU) to children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) to prevent vaso-occlusive events, there will be a secondary benefit of maintaining low transcranial Doppler (TCD) velocity, measured by imaging technique (TCDi). HU was prescribed for 90.9% (110 of 120) of children with SCA ≥5 years of age and followed for a median of 4.4 years, with 70% (n = 77) receiving at least one TCDi evaluation after starting HU. No child prescribed HU had a conditional or abnormal TCDi measurement. HU initiation for disease severity prevention decreases the prevalence of abnormal TCDi velocities.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Muscle blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) contrast is greater in magnitude and potentially more influenced by extravascular BOLD mechanisms at 7 T than it is at lower field strengths. Muscle BOLD imaging of muscle contractions at 7 T could, therefore, provide greater or different contrast than at 3 T. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using BOLD imaging at 7 T to assess the physiological responses to in vivo muscle contractions. Thirteen subjects (four females) performed a series of isometric contractions of the calf muscles while being scanned in a Philips Achieva 7 T human imager. Following 2 s maximal isometric plantarflexion contractions, BOLD signal transients ranging from 0.3 to 7.0% of the pre-contraction signal intensity were observed in the soleus muscle. We observed considerable inter-subject variability in both the magnitude and time course of the muscle BOLD signal. A subset of subjects (n = 7) repeated the contraction protocol at two different repetition times (T : 1000 and 2500 ms) to determine the potential of T -related inflow effects on the magnitude of the post-contractile BOLD response. Consistent with previous reports, there was no difference in the magnitude of the responses for the two T values (3.8 ± 0.9 versus 4.0 ± 0.6% for T = 1000 and 2500 ms, respectively; mean ± standard error). These results demonstrate that studies of the muscle BOLD responses to contractions are feasible at 7 T. Compared with studies at lower field strengths, post-contractile 7 T muscle BOLD contrast may afford greater insight into microvascular function and dysfunction.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Automated software improves the accuracy and reliability of blood velocity, vessel diameter, blood flow, and shear rate ultrasound measurements, but existing software offers limited flexibility to customize and validate analyses. We developed FloWave.US-open-source software to automate ultrasound blood flow analysis-and demonstrated the validity of its blood velocity (aggregate relative error, 4.32%) and vessel diameter (0.31%) measures with a skeletal muscle ultrasound flow phantom. Compared with a commercial, manual analysis software program, FloWave.US produced equivalent in vivo cardiac cycle time-averaged mean (TAMean) velocities at rest and following a 10-s muscle contraction (mean bias <1 pixel for both conditions). Automated analysis of ultrasound blood flow data was 9.8 times faster than the manual method. Finally, a case study of a lower extremity muscle contraction experiment highlighted the ability of FloWave.US to measure small fluctuations in TAMean velocity, vessel diameter, and mean blood flow at specific time points in the cardiac cycle. In summary, the collective features of our newly designed software-accuracy, reliability, reduced processing time, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility-offer advantages over existing proprietary options. Further, public distribution of FloWave.US allows researchers to easily access and customize code to adapt ultrasound blood flow analysis to a variety of vascular physiology applications.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Studying the magnitude and kinetics of blood flow, oxygen extraction, and oxygen consumption at exercise onset and during the recovery from exercise can lead to insights into both the normal control of metabolism and blood flow and the disturbances to these processes in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to examine the on- and off-kinetics for oxygen delivery, extraction, and consumption as functions of submaximal contraction intensity. Eight healthy subjects performed four 1-min isometric dorsiflexion contractions, with two at 20% MVC and two at 40% MVC. During one contraction at each intensity, relative perfusion changes were measured by using arterial spin labeling, and the deoxyhemoglobin percentage (%HHb) was estimated using the spin- and gradient-echo sequence and a previously published empirical calibration. For the whole group, the mean perfusion did not increase during contraction. The %HHb increased from ∼28 to 38% during contractions of each intensity, with kinetics well described by an exponential function and mean response times (MRTs) of 22.7 and 21.6 s for 20 and 40% MVC, respectively. Following contraction, perfusion increased ∼2.5-fold. The %HHb, oxygen consumption, and perfusion returned to precontraction levels with MRTs of 27.5, 46.4, and 50.0 s, respectively (20% MVC), and 29.2, 75.3, and 86.0 s, respectively (40% MVC). These data demonstrate in human subjects the varied recovery rates of perfusion and oxygen consumption, along with the similar rates of %HHb recovery, across these exercise intensities.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
A novel approach for detecting blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals in the brain is investigated using spin locking (SL) pulses to selectively edit the effects of extravascular diffusion in field gradients from different sized vascular structures. We show that BOLD effects from diffusion amongst susceptibility gradients will contribute significantly not only to transverse relaxation rates (R2* and R2) but also to R1ρ, the rate of longitudinal relaxation in the rotating frame. Similar to the ability of 180-degree pulses to refocus static dephasing effects in a spin echo, moderately strong SL pulses can also reduce contributions of diffusion in large-scale gradients and the choice of SL amplitude can be used to selectively emphasize smaller scale inhomogeneities (such as microvasculature) and to drastically reduce the influence of larger structures (such as veins). Moreover, measurements over a range of locking fields can be used to derive estimates of the spatial scales of intrinsic gradients. The method was used to detect BOLD activation in human visual cortex. Eight healthy young adults were imaged at 3T using a single-slice, SL-prepped turbo spin echo (TSE) sequence with spin-lock amplitudes ω1=80Hz and 400Hz, along with conventional T2*-weighted and T2-prepped sequences. The BOLD signal varied from 1.1±0.4 % (ω1=80Hz) to 0.7±0.2 % (at 400Hz), whereas the T2-weighted sequence measured 1.3±0.3 % and the T2* sequence measured 1.9±0.3 %. This new R1ρ functional contrast can be made selectively sensitive to intrinsic gradients of different spatial scales, thereby increasing the spatial specificity of the evoked response.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We examined superior mesenteric artery blood flow velocity in response to feeding in infants randomized to trophic feeds (n = 16) or nil per os (n = 18) during previous treatment for patent ductus arteriosus. Blood flow velocity increased earlier in the fed infants, but was similar in the 2 groups at 30 minutes after feeding.
Copyright © 2014 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Characterization of the influence of oxygen availability on brain metabolism is an essential step toward a better understanding of brain energy homoeostasis and has obvious clinical implications. However, how brain metabolism depends on oxygen availability has not been clearly examined in humans. We therefore assessed the influence of oxygen on CBF (cerebral blood flow) and CMRO2 (cerebral metabolic rates for oxygen) and carbohydrates. PaO2 (arterial partial pressure of oxygen) was decreased for 15 min to ~60, ~44 and ~35 mmHg [to target a SaO2 (arterial oxygen saturation) of 90, 80 and 70% respectively], and elevated to ~320 and ~430 mmHg. Isocapnia was maintained during each trial. At the end of each stage, arterial-jugular venous differences and volumetric CBF were measured to directly calculate cerebral metabolic rates. During progressive hypoxaemia, elevations in CBF were correlated with the reductions in both SaO2 (R2=0.54, P<0.05) and CaO2 (arterial oxygen content) (R2=0.57, P<0.05). Despite markedly reduced CaO2, cerebral oxygen delivery was maintained by increased CBF. Cerebral metabolic rates for oxygen, glucose and lactate remained unaltered during progressive hypoxia. Consequently, cerebral glucose delivery was in excess of that required, and net lactate efflux increased slightly in severe hypoxia, as reflected by a small increase in jugular venous lactate. Progressive hyperoxia did not alter CBF, CaO2, substrate delivery or cerebral metabolism. In conclusion, marked elevations in CBF with progressive hypoxaemia and related reductions in CaO2 resulted in a well-maintained cerebral oxygen delivery. As such, cerebral metabolism is still supported almost exclusively by carbohydrate oxidation during severe levels of hypoxaemia.
PURPOSE - To evaluate the repeatability of MRI-derived relative blood volume (RBV) measurements in mouse kidneys across subjects and days and to evaluate sensitivity of this approach to renal pathology.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - A 7 Tesla MRI system and an intravascular iron-oxide contrast agent were used to acquire spin-echo-based renal RBV maps in 10 healthy mice on 2 consecutive days. Renal RBV maps were also acquired in the Alport and unilateral ureteral obstruction mouse models of renal disease.
RESULTS - The average renal RBV measured on consecutive days was 19.97 ± 1.50 and 19.86 ± 1.62, yielding a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.94, indicating that this approach is highly repeatable. In the disease models, the RBV values were regionally dissimilar and substantially lower than those found in control mice.
CONCLUSION - In vivo renal iron-oxide-based RBV mapping in mice complements the physiological information obtained from conventional assays of kidney function and could shed new insights into the pathological mechanisms of kidney disease.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.