Arterial spin labeling blood flow MRI: its role in the early characterization of Alzheimer's disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20(3):871-80. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-091699.


Arterial spin labeling (ASL) enables the noninvasive, quantitative imaging of cerebral blood flow using standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. Because it requires no contrast injection, ASL can add resting functional information to MRI studies measuring atrophy and signs of ischemic injury. Key features of ASL technology that may affect studies in Alzheimer's disease are described. The existing literature describing ASL blood flow imaging applied to Alzheimer's disease and related dementia is reviewed, and the potential role of ASL in treatment and prevention studies of early Alzheimer's disease is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Spin Labels


  • Spin Labels