Leif Østergaard

Increased cortical capillary transit time heterogeneity in Alzheimer’s disease: a DSC-MRI perfusion study

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Abstract Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau and neurotoxic amyloid beta protein in the brain parenchyma. Hypoxia caused by microvascular changes and disturbed capillary flows could stimulate this build-up of AD-specific proteins in the brain. In this study we compared cerebral microcirculation in a cohort of AD and MCI patients with that of age-matched controls, all without a history of diabetes or of hypertension for more than two years, using dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging (DSC-MRI). Vascular flow disturbances were quantified using a parametric model and mapped to the mid-cortical surface for group-wise statistical analysis. We found widespread hypoperfusion in patients compared to controls and identified areas of increased relative capillary transit time heterogeneity (RTH), consistent with low tissue oxygen tension. Notably, RTH was positively correlated with white matter hyperintensities and positively correlated with symptom severity in the patient cohort. These correlations extended over large parts of the temporal, parietal and frontal cortices. The results support the hypothesis of disturbed capillary flow patterns in AD and suggest that DSC-MRI may provide imaging biomarkers of impaired cerebral microcirculation in AD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Alzheimer, MRI, perfusion, capillary transit-time heterogeneity (CTH), oxygen extraction fraction (OEF), white matter hyperintensities

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