The ability to image the ischemic penumbra during hyperacute stroke promises to identify patients who may benefit from treatment intervention beyond population-defined therapeutic time windows. MR blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast imaging has been explored in ischemic stroke. This review provides an overview of several BOLD-based methods, including susceptibility-weighted imaging, R2, R2*, R2′, R2* under oxygen challenge, MR_OEF and MROMI approaches to assess cerebral oxygen metabolism in ischemic stroke. We will review the underlying pathophysiological basis of the imaging approaches, followed by a brief introduction of BOLD contrast. Finally, we will discuss the applications of the BOLD approaches in patients with ischemic stroke. BOLD-based methods hold promise for imaging tissue oxygenation during acute ischemia. Further technical refinement and validation studies in stroke patients against positron emission tomography measurements are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalCurrent Radiology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2014


  • BOLD
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Ischemia
  • MRI
  • Oxygen extraction fraction
  • Oxygen metabolism


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