Cerebral blood flow (CBF)

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 24 Sep 2020

Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is one of the parameters generated by perfusion techniques (CT perfusion and MR perfusion). CBF is defined as the volume of blood passing through a given amount of brain tissue per unit of time, most commonly milliliters of blood per minute per 100 g of brain tissue 1.

In most instances cerebral blood flow is difficult to measure in absolute terms, and relative CBF (rCBF) is calculated instead; relative to normal white matter

Quantitative CBF (qCBF) can be estimated using specific techniques, and varies significantly between white and grey matter (roughly twice as high in grey vs white matter) 2

  • grey matter: ~50 +/- 15 mL/100 g/min *
  • white matter: 22 +/- 5 mL/100 g/min *

* these are rounded figures as differences exist between techniques and publications

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