Simultaneous noninvasive measurement of CBF and CBV using double-echo FAIR (DEFAIR)

Magn Reson Med. 2001 May;45(5):853-63. doi: 10.1002/mrm.1114.


A new method for measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral blood volume (CBV) noninvasively using MRI is presented. The approach is based on the technique of arterial spin labelling (ASL), in which CBF-based contrast is generated by controlled modulation of the longitudinal magnetization of the blood. The proposed method also uses differences in T(2) between tissue and blood to differentiate the two compartments and allow assessment of the relative size of each. Two successive EPI images are acquired following spin preparation using either a slice-selective or global inversion pulse, and the technique is therefore referred to as double-echo FAIR (DEFAIR). DEFAIR is demonstrated in the normal gerbil brain and during hypothermia, where reductions of both CBF and CBV are known to occur. It is also shown theoretically that this method can be extended to include a measurement of oxygen extraction fraction. The main drawbacks of the technique are the long acquisition time and relatively low sensitivity to hemodynamic changes compared to conventional qualitative T2(*)-weighted BOLD contrast, which may limit its applicability and practical use in monitoring functional cerebral activation. However, the technique can be used repetitively in longer-term time course studies due to its noninvasive and quantitative nature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Volume*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / methods*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Hypothermia / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Spin Labels


  • Spin Labels
  • Oxygen