Quantifying CBF with pulsed ASL: Technical and pulse sequence factors
ABSTRACT We summarize here current methods for the quantification of CBF using pulsed arterial spin labeling (ASL) methods. Several technical issues related to CBF quantitation are described briefly, including transit delay, signal from larger arteries, radio frequency (RF) slice profiles, magnetization transfer, tagging efficiency, and tagging geometry. Many pulsed tagging schemes have been devised, which differ in the type of tag or control pulses, and which have various advantages and disadvantages for quantitation. Several other modifications are also available that can be implemented as modules in an ASL pulse sequence, such as varying the wash-in time to estimate the transit delay. Velocity-selective ASL (VS-ASL) uses a new type of pulse labeling in which inflowing arterial spins are tagged based on their velocity rather than their spatial location. In principle, this technique may allow ASL measurement of cerebral blood flow (CBF) that is insensitive to transit delays.
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ABSTRACT: Using whole-brain pulsed arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging, resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured in 20 mild cognitive impairment (MCI; 11 ɛ3 and 9 ɛ4) and 40 demographically matched cognitively normal (CN; 27 ɛ3 and 13 ɛ4) participants. An interaction of apolipoprotein (APOE) genotype (ɛ3 and ɛ4) and cognitive status (CN and MCI) on quantified gray-matter CBF corrected for partial volume effects was found in the left parahippocampal and fusiform gyri (PHG/FG), right middle frontal gyrus, and left medial frontal gyrus. In the PHG/FG, CBF was elevated for CN ɛ4 carriers but decreased for MCI ɛ4 carriers. The opposite pattern was seen in frontal regions: CBF was decreased for CN ɛ4 carriers but increased for MCI ɛ4 carriers. Cerebral blood flow in the PHG/FG was positively correlated with verbal memory for CN ɛ4 adults (r=0.67, P=0.01). Cerebral blood flow in the left medial frontal gyrus was positively correlated with verbal memory for MCI ɛ4 adults (r=0.70, P=0.05). Findings support dynamic pathophysiologic processes in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease risk and indicate that cognitive status and APOE genotype have interactive effects on CBF. Correlations between CBF and verbal memory suggest a differential neurovascular compensatory response in posterior and anterior cortices with cognitive decline in ɛ4 adults.Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 05/2012; 32(8):1589-99. DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.58 · 5.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although there are multiple indications that alcohol can alter many physiological brain functions, including cerebral blood flow (CBF), studies of the latter have generally used small- or modest-sized samples. Few investigations have yet evaluated how CBF changes after alcohol relate to subsets of subjects with elevated alcoholism risks, such as those with lower levels of response (LR) to alcohol. This study used arterial spin labeling (ASL) after alcohol administration to evaluate a large sample of healthy young men and women with low and high alcohol responses, and, thus, varying risks for alcohol use disorders (AUD). Healthy young adult social drinkers with low and high LR (N=88, 50% women) matched on demography and drinking histories were imaged with whole-brain resting ASL ~1 hour after ingesting ~3 drinks of ethanol and after a placebo beverage (i.e., 178 ASL sessions). The relationships of CBF changes from placebo to alcohol for subjects with low and high LR were evaluated. CBF increased after alcohol when compared to placebo in 5 frontal brain regions. Despite identical blood alcohol concentrations, these increases with alcohol were less prominent in individuals who required more drinks to experience alcohol-related effects (i.e., had a lower LR to alcohol). The LR group differences remained significant after covarying for recent drinking quantities. The results confirm that alcohol intake is associated with acute increases in CBF, particularly in frontal regions. Less intense CBF changes were seen in subjects with a genetically influenced characteristic, a low LR to alcohol, that relates to the future risk of heavy drinking and alcohol problems.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2011; 35(6):1034-40. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01435.x · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the acute stroke literature indicates that cerebral blood flow (CBF) may commonly be disordered in stroke survivors, limited research has investigated whether CBF remains aberrant in the chronic phase of stroke. A directed study of CBF in stroke is needed because reduced CBF (hypoperfusion) may occur in neural regions that appear anatomically intact and may impact cognitive functioning in stroke survivors. Hypoperfusion in neurologically-involved individuals may also affect BOLD signal in FMRI studies, complicating its interpretation with this population. The current study measured CBF in three chronic stroke survivors with ischemic infarcts (greater than 1 year post-stroke) to localize regions of hypoperfusion, and most critically, examine the CBF inflow curve using a methodology that has never, to our knowledge, been reported in the chronic stroke literature. CBF data acquired with a Pulsed Arterial Spin Labeling (PASL) flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) technique indicated both delayed CBF inflow curve and hypoperfusion in the stroke survivors as compared to younger and elderly control participants. Among the stroke survivors, we observed regional hypoperfusion in apparently anatomically intact neural regions that are involved in cognitive functioning. These results may have profound implications for the study of behavioral deficits in chronic stroke, and particularly for studies using neuroimaging methods that rely on CBF to draw conclusions about underlying neural activity.NeuroImage 03/2010; 51(3):995-1005. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.03.008 · 6.13 Impact Factor