Cerebral Blood Flow Measurements in Infants Using Look–Locker Arterial Spin Labeling

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Abstract

Purpose:

To measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) using Look–Locker arterial spin labeling (ASL) in children under 1 year of age and to investigate the advantages of using subject-specific estimates of ASL model parameters in this population.

Materials and Methods:

Of 12 scanned infants, we successfully acquired CBF maps in 7 (postmenstrual age: 32 to 78 weeks) using a Look–Locker ASL scheme and both adult literature-derived and subject-specific model parameters. ASL global CBF measurements were compared with independent global CBF measurements obtained in the same scanning session using phase-contrast angiography.

Results:

Measured global CBF values ranged from 24 to 56 mL/100g/min in the scanned infants, increasing significantly with postmenstrual age (ρSpearman = 0.89, P-value = 0.01). Using subject-specific model parameters yielded CBF estimates in significantly better agreement with phase-contrast angiography values (P-value: 0.80) than when standard adult parameters were used (P-value: 0.04).

Conclusion:

Look–Locker ASL can be used to measure CBF in infants and its accuracy is improved with the use of infant-specific auxiliary parameters, particularly blood and tissue T1, which were much more variable in the imaged infants in than adults. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2015;41:1591–1600. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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