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Study of regional cerebral metabolism and blood flow relationships in man using the method of continuously inhaling oxygen-15 and oxygen-15 labelled carbon dioxide.
  1. G L Lenzi,
  2. T Jones,
  3. C G McKenzie,
  4. P D Buckingham,
  5. J C Clark,
  6. S Moss


    A new technique for assessing regional oxygen use and blood flow has been applied to a wide range of neurological patients. The method couples the brain's high metabolic demand for oxygen with a shortlived radioactive form of this metabolite, namely oxygen-15 (half life: 2.1 min). This combination produces during the continuous inhalation of either molecular oxygen-15 or labelled carbon dioxide, steady state functional images of the brain which are relatively free of contribution from extracerebral tissues. These are complementary images in that they relate to regional oxygen uptake and blood flow and hence offer a direct insight to the regional demand-to-supply relationships within the brain in physiological and pathological conditions. In the clinical groups studied, metabolic and circulatory defects were observed and instances of cerebrovascular insufficiency and relative luxury perfusion were defined which hitherto have been deduced from indirect methods. The clinical acceptability of this non-invasive approach allowed us to study those categories of patients which normally do not warrant invasive examination.

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