Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Children From 3 to 5 Months of Age.
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Understanding the relationship between brain and behavior in early childhood requires a probe of functional brain development. We report the first large study of regional CBF by use of arterial spin-labeling in young children.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Cerebral blood flow by use of arterial spin-labeling was measured in 61 healthy children between the ages of 3 and 5 months. Blood flow maps were parcellated into 8 broadly defined anatomic regions of each cerebral hemisphere.RESULTS:There was no sex effect; however, group analysis demonstrated significantly greater CBF in the sensorimotor and occipital regions compared with dorsolateral prefrontal, subgenual, and orbitofrontal areas (P < .0001). A significant age effect was also identified, with the largest increase in blood flow between 3 and 5 months occurring in the following regions: orbitofrontal (P < .009), subgenual (P < .002), and inferior occipital lobe (P = .001).CONCLUSIONS:These results are consistent with prior histologic studies demonstrating regional variation in brain maturation and suggest that arterial spin-labeling is sensitive to regional as well as age-related differences in CBF in young children.