Evaluation of an AIF correction algorithm for dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced perfusion MRI

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For longitudinal studies in patients suffering from cerebrovascular diseases the poor reproducibility of perfusion measurements via dynamic susceptibility-weighted contrast-enhanced MRI (DSC-MRI) is a relevant concern. We evaluate a novel algorithm capable of overcoming limitations in DSC-MRI caused by partial volume and saturation issues in the arterial input function (AIF) by a blood flow stimulation-study. In 21 subjects, perfusion parameters before and after administration of blood flow stimulating l-arginine were calculated utilizing a block-circulant singular value decomposition (cSVD). A total of two different raters and three different rater conditions were employed to select AIFs: Besides 1) an AIF selection by an experienced rater, a beginner rater applied a steady state-oriented strategy, returning; 2) raw; and 3) corrected AIFs. Highly significant changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) by 9.0% (P< 0.01) could only be found when the AIF correction was performed. To further test for improved reproducibility, in a subgroup of seven subjects the baseline measurement was repeated 6 weeks after the first examination. In this group as well, using the correction algorithm decreased the SD of the difference between the two baseline measurements by 42%. Magn Reson Med 60:102–110, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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