Quantification of Macrocirculation and Microcirculation in Brain Using Ultrasound Perfusion Imaging.

E. Vinke, J. Eyding, C. de Korte, C. Slump, J. van der Hoeven and C. Hoedemaekers




The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of simultaneous visualization of the cerebral macrocirculation and microcirculation, using ultrasound perfusion imaging (UPI). In addition, we studied the sensitivity of this technique for detecting changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF). We performed an observational study in ten healthy volunteers. Ultrasound contrast was used for UPI measurements during normoventilation and hyperventilation. For the data analysis of the UPI measurements, an in-house algorithm was used to visualize the DICOM files, calculate parameter images and select regions of interest (ROIs). Next, time intensity curves (TIC) were extracted and perfusion parameters calculated. Both volume- and velocity-related perfusion parameters were significantly different between the macrocirculation and the parenchymal areas. Hyperventilation-induced decreases in CBF were detectable by UPI in both the macrocirculation and microcirculation, most consistently by the volume-related parameters. The method was safe, with no adverse effects in our population. Bedside quantification of CBF seems feasible and the technique has a favourable safety profile. Adjustment of current method is required to improve its diagnostic accuracy. Validation studies using a 'gold standard' are needed to determine the added value of UPI in neurocritical care monitoring.