Perfusion Harmonic Imaging of the Human Brain

Volker Metzler, Günter Seidel, Martin Wiesmann, Karsten Meyer, Til Aach


The fast visualisation of cerebral microcirculation supports diagnosis of acute cerebrovascular diseases. However, the commonly used CT/MRI-based methods are time consuming and, moreover, costly. Therefore we propose an alternative approach to brain perfusion imaging by means of ultrasonography. In spite of the low signal/noise-ratio of transcranial ultrasound and the high impedance of the skull, flow images of cerebral blood flow can be derived by capturing the kinetics of appropriate contrast agents by harmonic ultrasound image sequences. In this paper we propose three different methods for human brain perfusion imaging, each of which yielding flow images indicating the status of the patient's cerebral microcirculation by visualising local flow parameters. Bolus harmonic imaging (BHI) displays the flow kinetics of bolus injections, while replenishment (RHI) and diminution harmonic imaging (DHI) compute flow characteristics from contrast agent continuous infusions. RHI measures the contrast agents kinetics in the influx phase and DHI displays the diminution kinetics of the contrast agent acquired from the decay phase. In clinical studies, the BHI- and RHI-parameter images were found to represent comprehensive and reproducible distributions of physiological cerebral blood flow. For DHI it is shown, that bubble destruction and hence perfusion phenomena principally can be displayed. Generally, perfusion harmonic imaging enables reliable and fast bedside imaging of human brain perfusion. Due to its cost efficiency it complements cerebrovascular diagnostics by established CT/MRI-based methods.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2003: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
Number of pages12
Publication date15.09.2003
ISBN (Print)978-0819448361
Publication statusPublished - 15.09.2003
EventMedical Imaging 2003: Image Processing - San Diego, United States
Duration: 15.02.200320.02.2003
Conference number: 61433


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