Copyright © 2013 Yi-Hsuan Kao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging provides a noninvasive, in vivo imaging technique for studying respiratory and cardiac pulsations in human brains, because these pulsations can be recorded as flow-related enhancement on dynamic MR images. By applying independent component analysis to dynamic MR images, respiratory and cardiac pulsations were observed. Using the signal-time curves of these pulsations as reference functions, the magnitude and phase of the transfer function were calculated on a pixel-by-pixel basis. The calculated magnitude and phase represented the amplitude change and temporal delay at each pixel as compared with the reference functions. In the transfer function analysis, near constant phases were found at the respiratory and cardiac frequency bands, indicating the existence of phase delay relative to the reference functions. In analyzing the dynamic MR images using the transfer function analysis, we found the following: (1) a good delineation of temporal delay of these pulsations can be achieved; (2) respiratory pulsation exists in the ventricular and cortical cerebrospinal fluid; (3) cardiac pulsation exists in the ventricular cerebrospinal fluid and intracranial vessels; and (4) a 180-degree phase delay or inverted amplitude is observed on phase images.