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  • Open Access

Changes in cerebral physiology following cranioplasty: a 15oxygen positron emission tomography study

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Critical Care200812 (Suppl 2) :P108

  • Published:


  • Magnetic Resonance Image
  • Positron Emission Tomography
  • White Matter
  • Brain Region
  • Grey Matter


Patients with skull defects report symptoms, which improve with cranioplasty (CP). We used 15O positron emission tomography (PET) to examine whether this resulted from improvements in cerebral physiology.


Seven patients were imaged 6–12 months post craniectomy with PET to derive maps of cerebral blood flow (CBF), oxygen metabolism (CMRO2), and oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) before and after CP. PET maps were coregistered with magnetic resonance images and segmented into grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM). Physiology was quantified in mixed GM + WM, GM and WM regions of interest (ROIs) underlying the craniectomy and in whole-brain GM, WM and GM + WM ROIs.


See Figure 1. There were no significant changes in CBF, CMRO2 or OEF following CP, even within ROIs underlying skull defects. Individual patients showed increases in CBF and CMRO2 and decreases in OEF, but all values were above ischemic thresholds [1].
Figure 1
Figure 1



Although individual subjects demonstrate improvements in physiology following CP, there were no systematic changes. Future studies will assess changes in individuals and relate these to metabolic changes within specific brain regions.

Authors’ Affiliations

Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, UK


  1. Cunningham AS, et al.: Brain. 2005, 128: 1931-1942. 10.1093/brain/awh536PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar


© BioMed Central Ltd 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.