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Keywords:

  • dynamic susceptibility contrast;
  • transverse relaxation rate constant;
  • hysteresis;
  • microvasculature;
  • perfusion

Perfusion measurements using dynamic susceptibility contrast imaging provide additional information about the mean vessel size of microvasculature when supplemented with a dual gradient echo (GE) – spin echo (SE) contrast. Dynamic increase in the corresponding transverse relaxation rate constant changes, ΔR2GE and ΔR2SE, forms a loop on the (Δinline image, ΔR2GE) plane, rather than a reversible line. The shape of the loop and the direction of its passage differentiate between healthy brain and pathological tissue, such as tumour and ischemic tissue. By considering a tree model of microvasculature, the direction of the loop is found to be influenced mainly by the relative arterial and venous blood volume, as well as the tracer bolus dispersion. A parameter Λ is proposed to characterize the direction and shape of the loop, which might be considered as a novel imaging marker for describing the pathology of cerebrovascular network. Magn Reson Med 69:981–991, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.