Noncontrast-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) intracranial MR angiography using pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling and accelerated 3D radial acquisition

Magn Reson Med. 2013 Mar 1;69(3):708-15. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24298. Epub 2012 Apr 24.


Pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) can be used to generate noncontrast magnetic resonance angiograms of the cerebrovascular structures. Previously described PCASL-based angiography techniques were limited to two-dimensional projection images or relatively low-resolution three-dimensional (3D) imaging due to long acquisition time. This work proposes a new PCASL-based 3D magnetic resonance angiography method that uses an accelerated 3D radial acquisition technique (VIPR, spoiled gradient echo) as the readout. Benefiting from the sparsity provided by PCASL and noise-like artifacts of VIPR, this new method is able to obtain submillimeter 3D isotropic resolution and whole head coverage with a 8-min scan. Intracranial angiography feasibility studies in healthy (N = 5) and diseased (N = 5) subjects show reduced saturation artifacts in PCASL-VIPR compared with a standard time-of-flight protocol. These initial results show great promise for PCASL-VIPR for static, dynamic, and vessel selective 3D intracranial angiography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / pathology*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spin Labels


  • Contrast Media
  • Spin Labels