Model-free arterial spin labeling quantification approach for perfusion MRI

Magn Reson Med. 2006 Feb;55(2):219-32. doi: 10.1002/mrm.20784.


In this work a model-free arterial spin labeling (ASL) quantification approach for measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) and arterial blood volume (aBV) is proposed. The method is based on the acquisition of a train of multiple images following the labeling scheme. Perfusion is obtained using deconvolution in a manner similar to that of dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI. Local arterial input functions (AIFs) can be estimated by subtracting two perfusion-weighted images acquired with and without crusher gradients, respectively. Furthermore, by knowing the duration of the bolus of tagged arterial blood, one can estimate the aBV on a voxel-by-voxel basis. The maximum of the residue function obtained from the deconvolution of the tissue curve by the AIF is a measure of CBF after scaling by the locally estimated aBV. This method provides averaged gray matter (GM) perfusion values of 38 +/- 2 ml/min/100 g and aBV of 0.93% +/- 0.06%. The average CBF value is 10% smaller than that obtained on the same data set using the standard general kinetic model (42 +/- 2 ml/min/100 g). Monte Carlo simulations were performed to compare this new methodology with parametric fitting by the conventional model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Blood Volume
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Spin Labels*


  • Spin Labels