A two-stage model for in vivo assessment of brain tumor perfusion and abnormal vascular structure using arterial spin labeling

PLoS One. 2013 Oct 2;8(10):e75717. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075717. eCollection 2013.


The ability to assess brain tumor perfusion and abnormalities in the vascular structure in vivo could provide significant benefits in terms of lesion diagnosis and assessment of treatment response. Arterial spin labeling (ASL) has emerged as an increasingly viable methodology for non-invasive assessment of perfusion. Although kinetic models have been developed to describe perfusion in healthy tissue, the dynamic behaviour of the ASL signal in the brain tumor environment has not been extensively studied. We show here that dynamic ASL data acquired in brain tumors displays an increased level of 'biphasic' behaviour, compared to that seen in healthy tissue. A new two-stage model is presented which more accurately describes this behaviour, and provides measurements of perfusion, pre-capillary blood volume fraction and transit time, and capillary bolus arrival time. These biomarkers offer a novel contrast in the tumor and surrounding tissue, and provide a means for measuring tumor perfusion and vascular structural abnormalities in a fully non-invasive manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Circulation*
  • Blood Vessels / pathology*
  • Blood Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Spin Labels*


  • Spin Labels