Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is a noninvasive technique that can measure cerebral blood flow (CBF). To our knowledge, there is no study that examined regional CBF of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients by using this technique. The present study assessed the relationship between clinical presentations and functional imaging data in MS using pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL). Twenty-seven patients with MS and 24 healthy volunteers underwent magnetic resonance imaging and pCASL to assess CBF. Differences in CBF between the two groups and the relationships of CBF values with the T2-hyperintense volume were evaluated. Compared to the healthy volunteers, reduced CBF was found in the bilateral thalami and right frontal region of the MS patients. The volume of the T2-hyperintense lesion was negatively correlated with regional CBF in some areas, such as both thalami. Our results suggest that demyelinated lesions in MS mainly have a remote effect on the thalamus and that the measurement of CBF using ASL could be an objective marker for monitoring disease activity in MS.
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