- A three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted sequence was used to acquire high spatial resolution whole brain images in rats before and after the injection of an intravascular contrast agent. These T1-weighted images were used to estimate regional cerebral blood volume (rCBV) as a percentage of blood volume in each voxel. Ventilation was manipulated to investigate the effects of altered arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) on rCBV. In addition, different doses of a hypertonic mannitol solution were used to investigate the sensitivity of the proposed method in a serial monitoring paradigm. An rCBV of 2.40% +/- 0.34% was obtained before any physiological manipulation, in good agreement with literature values using alternative techniques. Using this method, it was found that there exists a linear relationship between PaCO2 and rCBV (R2 = 0.77) and that rCBV increased in a dose and time dependent fashion in mannitol-treated rats. High signal-to-noise was available due to the substantial increase in blood signal from the intravascular contrast agent.