BACKGROUND: Neurovascular alterations have been implicated in the pathophysiology of Huntington's disease (HD). Because arterioles are most responsive to metabolic alterations, arteriolar cerebral blood volume (CBVa ) is an important indicator of cerebrovascular regulation. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate potential neurovascular (CBVa ) abnormality in prodromal-HD patients and compare it with the widely used imaging marker: brain atrophy.
METHODS: CBVa and brain volumes were measured with ultra-high-field (7.0-Telsa) magnetic resonance imaging in seven prodromal-HD patients and nine age-matched controls.
RESULTS: Cortical CBVa was elevated significantly in prodromal-HD patients compared with controls (relative difference, 38.5%; effect size, 1.48). Significant correlations were found between CBVa in the frontal cortex and genetic measures. By contrast, no significant brain atrophy was detected in the prodromal-HD patients.
CONCLUSIONS: CBVa may be abnormal in prodromal-HD, even before substantial brain atrophy occurs. Further investigation with a larger cohort and longitudinal follow-up is merited to determine whether CBVa could be used as a potential biomarker for clinical trials. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.