Evaluation of 3-dimensional stereotactic surface projection rendering of arterial spin labeling data in a clinical cohort

J Neuroimaging. 2023 Nov-Dec;33(6):933-940. doi: 10.1111/jon.13153. Epub 2023 Sep 11.


Background and purpose: To assess the feasibility of 3-dimensional stereotactic surface projection (3D-SSP) as applied to arterial spin labeling (ASL) in a clinical pilot study.

Methods: A retrospective sample of 10 consecutive patients who underwent ASL as part of a clinically indicated MR examination was collected during this pilot study. Five additional subjects with normal cerebral perfusion served as a control group. Following voxel-wise M0-correction, cerebral blood flow (CBF) quantification, and stereotactic anatomic standardization, voxel-wise CBF from an individual's ASL dataset was extracted to a set of predefined surface pixels (3D-SSP). A normal database was created from averaging the extracted CBF datasets of the control group. Patients' datasets were compared individually with the normal database by calculating a Z-score on a pixel-by-pixel basis and were displayed in 3D-SSP views for visual inspection. Independent, two-expert reader assessment, using a 3-point scale, compared standard quantitative CBF images to the 3D-SSP maps.

Results: Patterns and severities of regionally reduced CBF were identified, by both independent readers, in the 3D-SSP maps. Reader assessment demonstrated preference for 3D-SSP over traditionally displayed standard quantitative CBF images in three of four evaluated imaging metrics (p = .026, .031, and .013, respectively); 3D-SSP maps were never found to be inferior to the standard quantitative CBF images.

Conclusions: Three-dimensional SSP maps are feasible in a clinical population and enable quantitative data extraction and localization of perfusion abnormalities by means of stereotactic coordinates in a condensed display. The proposed method is a promising approach for interpreting cerebrovascular pathophysiology.

Keywords: arterial spin labeling; cerebrovascular disorders; magnetic resonance imaging; perfusion imaging; spin labels.

MeSH terms

  • Arteries*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spin Labels


  • Spin Labels