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Noninvasive measurement of relative cerebral blood flow with the blood bolus MRI arterial spin labeling: basic physics and clinical applications

M. Weber, A. Kroll, M. Günther, S. Delorme, J. Debus, F. Giesel, M. Essig, H. Kauczor and L. Schad

Radiologe, 44 (2), pp.164-173

Knowledge of tumor blood flow is important for diagnosis and follow-up of brain tumors after therapy, especially to discriminate necrosis from tumor recurrence after radiation or chemotherapy. Meanwhile, perfusion and diffusion MRI, besides MR-angiography, are state of the art in stroke imaging. Until now, perfusion imaging was mostly performed using the first-pass dynamic susceptibility-weighted contrast-enhanced (DSC) MRI. The MRI-based arterial spin labeling technique (ASL) is a novel approach for measuring relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) without using extrinsic contrast agents, by labeling spins of flowing arterial blood as intrinsic contrast agent. This article describes physical basics of ASL and shows clinical examples in neuroimaging such as in meningeoma, glioblastoma, oligodendroglioma, and cerebral ischemia, using the Q2TIPS ASL technique. Gray matter is clearly visible, while the observed white matter signal obtained by Q2TIPS is only slightly higher than background noise. Venous blood causes artefacts in the sagittal sinus and other large superficial veins in the subarachnoid space. Meningeoma and glioblastoma show elevated rCBF, whereas oligodendroglioma and cerebral ischemia have reduced rCBF values. Arterial-spin-labeling techniques are noninvasive tools for measuring rCBF within 5 min, using a standard MRI scanner.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 22.05.2019
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