Blood-brain barrier permeability imaging using perfusion computed tomography

Jernej Avsenik 1 , Sotirios Bisdas 2  and Katarina Surlan Popovic 1
  • 1 Institute of Radiology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2 Department of Neuroradiology, Eberhard Karls University, Tubingen, Germany


Background. The blood-brain barrier represents the selective diffusion barrier at the level of the cerebral microvascular endothelium. Other functions of blood-brain barrier include transport, signaling and osmoregulation. Endothelial cells interact with surrounding astrocytes, pericytes and neurons. These interactions are crucial to the development, structural integrity and function of the cerebral microvascular endothelium. Dysfunctional blood-brain barrier has been associated with pathologies such as acute stroke, tumors, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.

Conclusions. Blood-brain barrier permeability can be evaluated in vivo by perfusion computed tomography - an efficient diagnostic method that involves the sequential acquisition of tomographic images during the intravenous administration of iodinated contrast material. The major clinical applications of perfusion computed tomography are in acute stroke and in brain tumor imaging.

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