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March 15, 2021 — Nature Biomedical Engineering


Changes in cerebral blood flow are associated with stroke, aneurysms, vascular cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative diseases and other pathologies. Brain angiograms, typically performed via computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, are limited to millimetre-scale resolution and are insensitive to blood-flow dynamics. Here we show that ultrafast ultrasound localization microscopy of intravenously injected microbubbles enables transcranial imaging of deep vasculature in the adult human brain at microscopic resolution and the quantification of haemodynamic parameters. Adaptive speckle tracking to correct for micrometric brain-motion artefacts and ultrasonic-wave aberrations induced during transcranial propagation allowed us to map the vascular network of tangled arteries to functionally characterize blood-flow dynamics at a resolution of up to 25 μm and to detect blood vortices in a small deep-seated aneurysm in a patient. Ultrafast ultrasound localization microscopy may facilitate the understanding of brain haemodynamics and of how vascular abnormalities in the brain are related to neurological pathologies.

Authors: Charlie Demené 1, Justine Robin 1, Alexandre Dizeux 1, Baptiste Heiles 1, Mathieu Pernot 1, Mickael Tanter 1 and Fabienne Perren 2

1 ESPCI – Paris, 2 University of Geneva, Switzerland

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