Cerebellar and lobar blood flow in schizophrenia: A perfusion weighted imaging study

Marcella Bellani, Denis Peruzzo, Miriam Isola, Gianluca Rambaldelli, Cinzia Perlini, Monica Baiano, Roberto Cerini, Nicola Andreone, Marco Barillari, Roberto Pozzi Mucelli, Matteo Balestrieri, Michele Tansella, Alessandra Bertoldo, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is still not clear whether brain hemodynamics plays a role in the functional and structural alterations in schizophrenia, since prior imaging studies showed conflicting findings. In this study we non-invasively explored cerebral and cerebellar lobe perfusion in the largest population of participants with schizophrenia thus far studied with perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI). Forty-seven participants affected by schizophrenia and 29 normal controls were recruited. PWI images were acquired following the intravenous injection of a paramagnetic contrast agent. Regional cerebral blood volume (CBV), blood flow (rCBF), and mean transit time (MTT) were obtained with the block-Circulant Singular Value Decomposition (cSVD) for frontal, temporal, parietal, occipital, and cerebellar lobes, bilaterally. Perfusion parameters were separately obtained for both gray and white matter in each lobe. Subjects with schizophrenia showed no significant differences in perfusion parameters when compared with controls. Interestingly, inverse correlations between age at onset and occipital, frontal and cerebellar MTT and between length of illness and frontal CBV were found. Preserved cerebral and cerebellar perfusion in our chronic population may in part be due to the effects of antipsychotic treatment which may have normalized blood volume and flow. Hypoperfusion in relation to chronicity, particularly in the frontal lobe, has been observed in accordance with earlier studies using positron emission tomography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2011


  • Cerebellar blood flow
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Gadolinium
  • MRI
  • Neuroimaging
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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