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March 1984

Determination of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Patients With Cerebral Infarction: Use of Fluoromethane Labeled With Fluorine 18 and Positron Emission Tomography

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wis (Dr Celesia); and the Departments of Neurology (Dr Celesia), Radiology (Dr Polcyn), and Medical Physics (Drs Holden, Nickles, and Gatley and Mr Koeppe), University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr Celesia is now with Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Maywood, Ill.

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(3):262-267. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050150040013

• Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was determined using the tissue kinetic of fluoromethane labeled with fluorine 18 and positron emission tomography (PET) in 13 normal subjects and 21 patients with cerebrovascular diseases. The mean brain rCBF was 42.9 ± 4.3 mL/100 g/ min during the resting state. The highest rCBF (60 ± 8 mL/100 g/min) was noted in the mesial occipital region corresponding to cortical area 17. All 17 cases of cerebral ischemic infarcts had depressed rCBF in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the infarct. Every area of decreased density shown in the conventional computed tomograms (CT) was detected on the PET as an area of decreased rCBF (mean rCBF of infarcted area, 14.3 ± 6 mL/100 g/ min). The PET images showed a wider area of depressed rCBF than the region of the anatomic infarct. Five types of remote effects were noted in areas without structural damage: (1) decreased flow in the thalamus and caudate ipsilateral to the infarct; (2) decreased flow in the hemisphere contralateral to the cerebral infarct; (3) decreased flow in the cerebellar hemisphere contralateral to the cerebral infarct; (4) decreased flow in the visual cortex distal to the optic radiation lesion; and (5) decreased flow in the frontal cortex ipsilateral to the infarct. The effects in the contralateral hemisphere and the cerebellum were present only in the acute postictal phase. In four cases of transient ischemic attacks, rCBF was normal. It is concluded that this technique of measuring rCBF is a reliable method of identifying cerebral ischemia and that the determination of the extent of impaired rCBF provides a more accurate assessment of the region of brain dysfunction than CTs.

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