In vivo mapping of hippocampal venous vasculature and oxygenation using susceptibility imaging at 7T Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Mapping the small venous vasculature of the hippocampus in vivo is crucial for understanding how functional changes of hippocampus evolve with age. Oxygen utilization in the hippocampus could serve as a sensitive biomarker for early degenerative changes, surpassing hippocampal tissue atrophy as the main source of information regarding tissue degeneration. Using an ultrahigh field (7T) susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) sequence, it is possible to capture oxygen-level dependent contrast of submillimeter-sized vessels. Moreover, the quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) results derived from SWI data allow for the simultaneous estimation of venous oxygenation levels, thereby enhancing the understanding of hippocampal function. In this study, we proposed two potential imaging markers in a cohort of 19 healthy volunteers aged between 20 and 74 years. These markers were: 1) hippocampal venous density on SWI images and 2) venous susceptibility (Δχvein) in the hippocampus-associated draining veins (the inferior ventricular veins (IVV) and the basal veins of Rosenthal (BVR) using QSM images). They were chosen specifically to help characterize the oxygen utilization of the human hippocampus and medial temporal lobe (MTL). As part of the analysis, we demonstrated the feasibility of measuring hippocampal venous density and Δχvein in the IVV and BVR at 7T with high spatial resolution (0.25 × 0.25 × 1 mm3). Our results demonstrated the in vivo reconstruction of the hippocampal venous system, providing initial evidence regarding the presence of the venous arch structure within the hippocampus. Furthermore, we evaluated the age effect of the two quantitative estimates and observed a significant increase in Δχvein for the IVV with age (p=0.006, r2 = 0.369). This may suggest the potential application of Δχvein in IVV as a marker for assessing changes in atrophy-related hippocampal oxygen utilization in normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and dementia.


  • Li, Chenyang
  • Buch, Sagar
  • Sun, Zhe
  • Muccio, Marco
  • Jiang, Li
  • Chen, Yongsheng
  • Haacke, Mark
  • Zhang, Jiangyang
  • Wisniewski, Thomas M
  • Ge, Yulin

publication date

  • May 2024