Tissue specific perfusion imaging using arterial spin labeling

NMR Biomed. 1994 Mar;7(1-2):75-82. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1940070112.


Quantitative magnetic resonance measurements of regional tissue perfusion can be obtained using magnetically labeled arterial water as a diffusable tracer. Continuous labeling is achieved in flowing spins using adiabatic inversion. The effects of continuous labeling of proximal arterial spins and T1 relaxation in distal tissue magnetization result in a steady-state change in tissue magnetization which is tissue specific, i.e., it can be quantified in units of blood flow per gram of tissue per unit time. This magnetization is sampled using standard imaging sequences. The theoretical basis for this method, including the effects of macromolecular spin saturation, is reviewed. Recent results demonstrating the successful implementation of this technique in vitro and in vivo in rat brain, heart, and kidney, and in human brain and kidney are presented, as well as the use of a separate RF coil for arterial labeling to produce selective perfusion images in rat brain. This approach allows quantitative perfusion images to be obtained completely non-invasively at the resolution of 1H MRI, and is useful in the clinical and investigational evaluation of organ physiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Arteries / physiology
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Coronary Vessels / anatomy & histology*
  • Coronary Vessels / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Models, Biological
  • Organ Specificity
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Spin Labels*


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Spin Labels