Accuracy and precision of pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling perfusion during baseline and hypercapnia: A head-to-head comparison with 15O H2O positron emission tomography

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Measurements of the cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) provide useful information about cerebrovascular condition and regional metabolism. Pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL) is a promising non-invasive MRI technique to quantitatively measure the CBF, whereas additional hypercapnic pCASL measurements are currently showing great promise to quantitatively assess the CVR. However, the introduction of pCASL at a larger scale awaits further evaluation of the exact accuracy and precision compared to the gold standard. 15O H2O positron emission tomography (PET) is currently regarded as the most accurate and precise method to quantitatively measure both CBF and CVR, though it is one of the more invasive methods as well. In this study we therefore assessed the accuracy and precision of quantitative pCASL-based CBF and CVR measurements by performing a head-to-head comparison with 15O H2O PET, based on quantitative CBF measurements during baseline and hypercapnia. We demonstrate that pCASL CBF imaging is accurate during both baseline and hypercapnia with respect to 15O H2O PET with a comparable precision. These results pave the way for quantitative usage of pCASL MRI in both clinical and research settings.HighlightsQuantitative comparison of pCASL CBF and CVR measurements with 15O H2O PETAccuracy and precision compared during baseline and hypercapniapCASL CBF and CVR measurements are accurate with a similar precision as 15O H2O PET

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