Cerebroarterial pulsatility and resistivity indices are associated with cognitive impairment and white matter hyperintensity in elderly subjects: A phase-contrast MRI study

Soroush H. Pahlavian, Xinhui Wang, Samantha Ma, Hong Zheng, Marlena Casey, Lina M. D’Orazio, Xingfeng Shao, John M. Ringman, Helena Chui, Danny J.J. Wang, Lirong Yan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increased cerebroarterial pulsations are thought to be contributing factors in microvascular damage and cognitive impairment. In this study, we assessed the utility of two-dimensional (2D) phase-contrast MRI (PC-MRI) in quantifying cerebroarterial pulsations and evaluated the associations of pulsatile and non-pulsatile hemodynamic measures with cognitive performance and white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Neurocognitive assessments on 50 elderly subjects were performed using clinical dementia rating (CDR) and Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). An electrocardiogram-gated 2D PC-MRI sequence was used to calculate mean flow rate, pulsatility index (PI), and resistivity index (RI) of the internal carotid artery. For each subject, whole brain global cerebral blood flow (gCBF) and relative WMH volume were also quantified. Elevated RI was significantly associated with reduced cognitive performance quantified using MoCA (p = 0.04) and global CDR (p = 0.02). PI and RI were both significantly associated with relative WMH volume (p = 0.01, p < 0.01, respectively). However, non-pulsatile hemodynamic measures were not associated with cognitive impairment or relative WMH volume. This study showed that the cerebroarterial pulsatile measures obtained using PC-MRI have stronger association with the measures of cognitive impairment compared to global blood flow measurement and as such, might be useful as potential biomarkers of cerebrovascular dysfunction in preclinical populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-683
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cerebroarterial pulsations
  • cognitive impairment
  • phase-contrast MRI
  • pulsatility index
  • resistivity index
  • white matter hyperintensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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