In this study, spin-echo and gradient-echo-based perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques are systematically compared with respect to their application in the human brain. Six healthy subjects were evaluated with both techniques consecutively and injected twice with a gadolinium-based contrast agent. In accordance with theoretical predictions and with previous animal experiments, the spin-echo-based technique shows a markedly reduced appearance of large vessels. The intersubject standard deviations of the two methods are similar but smaller for the spin-echo technique in small regions adjacent to large vessels. Therefore, the sensitivity of the two acquisition methods for evaluating pathologic abnormalities may be similar despite the higher contrast-to-noise ratio of the gradient-echo-based technique. The gray-to-white matter ratio of the regional cerebral blood flow of the spin-echo method is closer to previous nuclear medicine measurements than that of the gradient-echo method. Our measurements indicate that spin-echo-based perfusion MRI is more representative of capillary perfusion than gradient-echo measurements. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2000;12:381-387.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.