Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of regional cerebral blood flow after asphyxial cardiac arrest in immature rats.

Cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations after asphyxial cardiac arrest (CA) are not defined in developmental animal models or humans. We characterized regional and temporal changes in CBF from 5 to 150 mins after asphyxial CA of increasing duration (8.5, 9, 12 min) in postnatal day (PND) 17 rats using the noninvasive method of arterial spin-labeled magnetic resonance imaging (ASL-MRI). We also assessed blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, and evaluated the relationship between CBF and mean arterial pressure after resuscitation. After all durations of asphyxia CBF alterations were region dependent. After 8.5- and 9-min asphyxia, intense subcortical hyperemia at 5 min was followed by return of CBF to baseline values by 10 mins. After 12-min asphyxia, hyperemia was absent and hypoperfusion reached a nadir of 38% to 65% of baselines with the lowest values in the cortex. BBB was impermeable to gadoteridol 150 mins after CA. CBF in the 12-min CA group was blood pressure passive at 60 min assessed via infusion of epinephrine. ASL-MRI assessment of CBF after asphyxial CA in PND 17 rats reveals marked duration and region-specific reperfusion patterns and identifies possible new therapeutic targets.