Perfusion (blood flow)
Perfusion is the volume of blood flowing through certain mass (or volume) of tissue per unit time. Blood flow is usually given in units mL/(100 g * min) or mL/(mL * min).
Tissue perfusion can be measured noninvasively with positron emission tomography using the following general techniques:
- Clearance or uptake of an inert and diffusible tracer
- Equilibrium imaging of a short-lived, inert, and diffusible tracer
- Uptake of a labelled agent that is trapped in capillaries or diffusible tracer that is metabolically trapped in cells.
Tracers that remain in vascular space cannot be used to measure blood flow (Lassen, 1984). At its best, such tracer can provide an estimate of plasma or blood volume in the tissue, which may vary in the same direction as the plasma flow, and thus appear to correlate with blood flow.
The methods to measure perfusion with diffusible and inert tracers are based on the principle of exchange of inert gas between blood and tissues (Kety and Schmidt, 1945), and on the Fick’s principle.
Nutritive vs nonnutritive perfusion
When perfusion is measured using [15O]H2O PET, the nonnutritive fraction of blood flow (blood flowing through shunts or other tissues, like skin) is not included in the perfusion estimate. However, nonnutritive blood flow will increase the estimate of arterial blood volume, because both the arterial and venous fraction of the shunt volume will have the same kinetics.
Microspheres of different diameters can be used in animal studies to measure nutritive and nonnutritive blood flow.
- Fick’s principle
- Analysis instructions by tracer
- Dynamic processes
- Compartmental model
- Compartmental model for radiowater
- ARG method
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Created at: 2014-04-07
Updated at: 2017-03-14
Written by: Vesa Oikonen