Oxygen metabolism in acute ischemic stroke.
Gaining insights into brain oxygen metabolism has been one of the key areas of research in neurosciences. Extensive efforts have been devoted to developing approaches capable of providing measures of brain oxygen metabolism not only under normal physiological conditions but, more importantly, in various pathophysiological conditions such as cerebral ischemia. In particular, quantitative measures of cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen using positron emission tomography (PET) have been shown to be capable of discerning brain tissue viability during ischemic insults. However, the complex logistics associated with oxygen-15 PET have substantially hampered its wide clinical applicability. In contrast, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based approaches have provided quantitative measures of cerebral oxygen metabolism similar to that obtained using PET. Given the wide availability, MRI-based approaches may have broader clinical impacts, particularly in cerebral ischemia, when time is a critical factor in deciding treatment selection. In this article, we review the pathophysiological basis of altered cerebral hemodynamics and oxygen metabolism in cerebral ischemia, how quantitative measures of cerebral metabolism were obtained using the Kety-Schmidt approach, the physical concepts of non-invasive oxygen metabolism imaging approaches, and, finally, clinical applications of the discussed imaging approaches.
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