Cerebral blood flow and marrow diffusion alterations in children with sickle cell anemia after bone marrow transplantation and transfusion

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Neuroradiology








© 2018 by the American Society of Neuroradiology. BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hematopoietic marrow hyperplasia and hyperperfusion are compensatory mechanisms in sickle cell anemia. We have observed marrow diffusion and arterial spin-labeling perfusion changes in sickle cell anemia following bone marrow transplantation.Weaimed to compare arterial spin-labeling perfusion and marrow diffusion/ADC values in patients with sickle cell anemia before and after bone marrow transplantation or transfusion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed brain MRIs from patients with sickle cell anemia obtained during 6 consecutive years at a children's hospital. Quantitative marrow diffusion values were procured from the occipital and sphenoid bones. Pseudocontinuous arterial spin-labeling perfusion values (milliliters/100 g of tissue/min) of MCA, anterior cerebral artery, and posterior cerebral artery territories were determined. Territorial CBF, whole-brain average CBF, and marrow ADC values were compared for changes before and after either bone marrow transplantation or transfusion. Bone marrow transplantation and transfusion groups were compared. Two-tailed paired and unpaired Student t tests were used; P < .05 was considered significant. RESULTS: Fifty-three examinations from 17 patients with bone marrow transplantation and 29 examinations from 9 patients with transfusion were included. ADC values significantly increased in the sphenoid and occipital marrow following bone marrow transplantation in contrast to patients with transfusion (P > .83). Whole-brain mean CBF significantly decreased following bone marrow transplantation (77.39 ± 13.78 to 60.39 ± 13.62 ml/100 g tissue/min; P < .001), without significant change thereafter. CBF did not significantly change following the first (81.11±12.23 to 80.25±8.27 ml/100 g tissue/min; P=.47) or subsequent transfusions. There was no significant difference in mean CBF between groups before intervention (P = .22). CONCLUSIONS: Improved CBF and marrow diffusion eventuate following bone marrow transplantation in children with sickle cell anemia in contrast to transfusion therapy.

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