In this chapter, we review state-of-the-art non-invasive techniques to monitor and study cerebral circulation in humans. The measurement methods can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect methods. Direct methods are mostly based on using contrast agents delivered to blood circulation. Clinically used direct methods include single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with contrast agents, xenon computed tomography (CT), and arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI. Indirect techniques are based on measuring physiological parameters reflecting cerebral perfusion. The most commonly used indirect methods are near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD), and phase-contrast MRI. In recent years, few more techniques have been intensively developed, such as diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) and microwave-based techniques, which are still emerging as methods for cerebral circulation monitoring. In addition, methods combining different modalities are discussed and, as a summary, the presented techniques and their benefits for cerebral circulation will be compared.
Part of the book: Cerebral Circulation