Mapping hepatic blood oxygenation by quantitative BOLD (qBOLD) MRI

Kenneth Wengler, Jinhong Wang, Mario Serrano Sosa, Serter Gumus, Andrea He, Shahid Hussain, Chuan Huang, Kyong Tae Bae, Xiang He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Abnormalities in hepatic oxygen delivery and oxygen consumption may serve as a significant indicator of hepatic cellular dysfunction and may predict treatment response. However, conventional and oxygen-enhanced hepatic BOLD MRI can only provide semiquantitative assessment of hepatic oxygenation. Methods: A hepatic quantitative BOLD (qBOLD) model was proposed for noninvasive mapping of hepatic venous blood oxygen saturation (Yv) and deoxygenated blood volume (DBV) in human subjects. The validity and the estimation bias of the proposed model were evaluated by Monte Carlo simulations. Eight healthy subjects were scanned after written consent with institutional review board approval. Results: Monte Carlo simulations demonstrated that the proposed single-compartment hepatic qBOLD model leads to significant deviation of the predicted T2* decay profile from the simulated signal due to high hepatic blood volume fraction. Small relative estimation bias for hepatic Yv and significant overestimation for hepatic DBV were observed, which can be corrected by applying the calibration curves established from simulations. After correction, the mean hepatic Yv in human subjects was 56.8 ± 6.8%, and the mean hepatic DBV was 0.190 ± 0.035, consistent with measurements from other invasive approaches. Except in regions with significant vascular contamination, the maps for hepatic Yv and DBV were relatively homogenous. Conclusions: With estimation bias correction, the hepatic qBOLD approach enables noninvasive mapping of hepatic blood volume and oxygenation in human subjects. The established protocol may be used to quantitatively assess hepatic tissue hypoxia in multiple liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3272-3282
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • hepatic deoxygenated blood volume
  • hepatic venous blood oxygen saturation
  • Liver
  • quantitative BOLD (qBOLD)


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