Non-Invasive Assessment of Damping of Blood Flow Velocity Pulsatility in Cerebral Arteries With MRI

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Background: Damping of heartbeat-induced pressure pulsations occurs in large arteries such as the aorta and extends to the small arteries and microcirculation. Since recently, 7 T MRI enables investigation of damping in the small cerebral arteries. Purpose: To investigate flow pulsatility damping between the first segment of the middle cerebral artery (M1) and the small perforating arteries using magnetic resonance imaging. Study Type: Retrospective. Subjects: Thirty-eight participants (45% female) aged above 50 without history of heart failure, carotid occlusive disease, or cognitive impairment. Field Strength/Sequence: 3 T gradient echo (GE) T1-weighted images, spin-echo fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images, GE two-dimensional (2D) phase-contrast, and GE cine steady-state free precession images were acquired. At 7 T, T1-weighted images, GE quantitative-flow, and GE 2D phase-contrast images were acquired. Assessment: Velocity pulsatilities of the M1 and perforating arteries in the basal ganglia (BG) and semi-oval center (CSO) were measured. We used the damping index between the M1 and perforating arteries as a damping indicator (velocity pulsatilityM1/velocity pulsatilityCSO/BG). Left ventricular stroke volume (LVSV), mean arterial pressure (MAP), pulse pressure (PP), and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) were correlated with velocity pulsatility in the M1 and in perforating arteries, and with the damping index of the CSO and BG. Statistical Tests: Correlations of LVSV, MAP, PP, and PWV with velocity pulsatility in the M1 and small perforating arteries, and correlations with the damping indices were evaluated with linear regression analyses. Results: PP and PWV were significantly positively correlated to M1 velocity pulsatility. PWV was significantly negatively correlated to CSO velocity pulsatility, and PP was unrelated to CSO velocity pulsatility (P = 0.28). PP and PWV were uncorrelated to BG velocity pulsatility (P = 0.25; P = 0.68). PWV and PP were significantly positively correlated with the CSO damping index. Data Conclusion: Our study demonstrated a dynamic damping of velocity pulsatility between the M1 and small cerebral perforating arteries in relation to proximal stress. Level of Evidence: 4. Technical Efficacy: Stage 1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1794
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
Early online date18 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • cerebral perforating arteries
  • damping
  • MRI
  • velocity pulsatility
  • Cerebral Arteries
  • Blood Flow Velocity/physiology
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vascular Stiffness/physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


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