Background and purpose: The relationship between extracranial large-artery characteristics and arterial spin-labeling MR imaging may influence the quality of arterial spin-labeling-CBF images for older adults with and without vascular pathology. We hypothesized that extracranial arterial blood velocity can explain between-person differences in arterial spin-labeling data systematically across clinical populations.
Materials and methods: We performed consecutive pseudocontinuous arterial spin-labeling and phase-contrast MR imaging on 82 individuals (20-88 years of age, 50% women), including healthy young adults, healthy older adults, and older adults with cerebral small vessel disease or chronic stroke infarcts. We examined associations between extracranial phase-contrast hemodynamics and intracranial arterial spin-labeling characteristics, which were defined by labeling efficiency, temporal signal-to-noise ratio, and spatial coefficient of variation.
Results: Large-artery blood velocity was inversely associated with labeling efficiency (P = .007), temporal SNR (P < .001), and spatial coefficient of variation (P = .05) of arterial spin-labeling, after accounting for age, sex, and group. Correction for labeling efficiency on an individual basis led to additional group differences in GM-CBF compared to correction using a constant labeling efficiency.
Conclusions: Between-subject arterial spin-labeling variance was partially explained by extracranial velocity but not cross-sectional area. Choosing arterial spin-labeling timing parameters with on-line knowledge of blood velocity may improve CBF quantification.
© 2017 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.