To quantify cerebral perfusion with dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI), one needs to measure the arterial input function (AIF). Conventionally, one derives the contrast concentration from the DSC sequence by monitoring changes in either the amplitude or the phase signal on the assumption that the signal arises completely from blood. In practice, partial volume artifacts are inevitable because a compromise has to be reached between the temporal and spatial resolution of the DSC acquisition. As the concentration of the contrast agent increases, the vector of the complex blood signal follows a spiral-like trajectory. In the case of a partial-volume voxel, the spiral is located around the static contribution of the surrounding tissue. If the static contribution of the background tissue is disregarded, estimations of the contrast concentration will be incorrect. By optimizing the correspondence between phase information and amplitude information one can estimate the origin of the spiral, and thereupon correct for partial volume artifacts. This correction is shown to be accurate at low spatial resolutions for phantom data and to improve the AIF determination in a clinical example. Magn Reson Med 45:477-485, 2001.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.