Measurements of blood flow in the human hippocampus are complicated by its relatively small size, unusual anatomy and patterns of blood supply. Only a handful of arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI articles have reported regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) values for the human hippocampus. Numerous reports have found heterogeneity in a number of other physiological and biochemical parameters along the longitudinal hippocampal axis. There is, however, only one ASL study of perfusion properties as a function of anteroposterior location in the hippocampus, reporting that rCBF is lower and the arterial transit time (ATT) is longer in the anterior hippocampus than in the posterior hippocampus of the rat brain. The purpose of this article was to measure ATT and rCBF in anterior, middle and posterior normal adult human hippocampus. To better distinguish anteroposterior perfusion heterogeneity in the hippocampus, a modified ASL method, called Orthogonally Positioned Tagging Imaging Method for Arterial Labeling with Flow-sensitive Alternating Inversion Recovery (OPTIMAL FAIR), was developed that provides high in-plane resolution with oblique coronal imaging slices perpendicular to the long axis of the hippocampus to minimize partial volume effects. Perfusion studies performed with this modified FAIR method at 3T indicated that anterior, middle and posterior human hippocampus segments have unique transit time and rCBF values. Of these three longitudinal hippocampal regions, the middle hippocampus has the highest perfusion and the shortest transit time and the anterior hippocampus has the lowest perfusion and the longest transit time.
- Arterial transit time (ATT)
- Hippocampal hemodynamics
- Longitudinal hippocampal regions
- OPTIMAL FAIR
- Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF)