About this Research Topic
The autoregulation of cerebral blood flow is crucial for the maintenance of brain parenchymal cell homeostasis. Blood volume and vascular pressure are two key regulatory parameters actively involved in the CNS biophysical properties modification. Modifications take place in response to different neurophysiological functions such as hyperventilation, changes in metabolic rate, etc or as a reaction to the presence of neurological disorders.
Novel MRI techniques allow researchers to probe the multi-parametric, biophysical properties of the brain in vivo. By targeting specific biophysical parameters, including blood volume, blood flow, vascular permeability, blood oxygenation, perfusion pressure, and viscoelastic properties, either under normal or pathologic conditions, imaging methods allow for a sensitive characterization of cerebral blood-tissue interactions.
Techniques used currently are arterial spin labeling (ASL), magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) imaging and quantitative functional MRI (fMRI).
The improved performance of neuroimaging techniques in terms of spatio-temporal resolution, adopted in both clinical and preclinical research, could provide a deeper insight into the structural-functional interactions of in vivo brain tissue across different tissue length scales from micrometers to millimeters.
This Research Topic comprises studies aiming to develop novel multi-parametric quantitative MRI methods allowing for an in-depth investigation of the coupling between cerebral blood flow and the brain biophysical tissue properties. This is intended to address the issue that limited data is currently available to obtain a comprehensive description of cerebral tissue-blood interaction combining anatomical, functional, and mechanical properties. To achieve high accuracy and reproducibility in measuring the brain’s dynamic response to blood regulation, fast and noise-robust data acquisition schemes are desirable. In addition, imaging processing methods such as prospective and retrospective motion correction, advanced denoising techniques, could also improve the overall image quality in this context.
The key aspect to focus on is the fine quantification of cerebral blood flow associated brain parenchymal biophysical properties including:
- perfusion and intracranial pressure,
- viscoelastic properties,
- tissue/blood diffusion and compartmentalization,
- vascular architecture and permeability,
- blood flow pulsatility and pulsatility damping.
The scope is not limited to clinical studies in the context of physiological modulation of cerebral blood flow/microcirculation, cerebral vascular diseases, and neurological disorders, it also extends to preclinical, translational studies in animal models as they relate to these same research questions.
We welcome authors to focus on the following (but not limited to) topics:
• MRI sequence and hardware development to improve spatiotemporal resolution
• Numerical models‘ development for cerebral blood flow quantification
• Advancement in image analysis methods and data reconstruction algorithms (acquisition, segmentation, machine-learning-based analysis, etc) to achieve high accuracy and reproducibility
• Imaging cerebral blood flow related biophysical properties as a biomarker for acute and chronic neurovascular pathologies
Guest Editor Jens Wuerfel is CEO of the Medical Image Analysis Center Basel, Switzerland. All other Guest Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: multi-parametric quantitative MRI, cerebral tissue-blood interaction, spatio-temporal resolution, arterial spin labeling (ASL), magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) imaging
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