Fast cerebral flow territory mapping using vessel encoded dynamic arterial spin labeling (VE-DASL)

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Abstract

Purpose:

Whole-brain territory mapping using planning-free vessel-encoded pseudocontinuous arterial-spin-labeling (VE-pCASL) takes approximately 5 min, which is frequently considered too long for standard clinical protocols. In this study, vessel-encoded dynamic-ASL (VE-DASL) is optimized to achieve fast (< 30 s) cerebral flow territory mapping, especially aimed for the acute setting.

Methods:

VE-DASL is based on the creation of a continuous stream of magnetically labeled or unlabeled blood with different encoding patterns for each feeding artery, whose inflow into the brain tissue is monitored continuously. This approach leads to unique signal fluctuation within each flow territory, enabling reconstruction of individual flow territories by means of clustering techniques followed by linear regression.

Results:

VE-DASL was implemented and validated both as single slice and whole-brain method. In vivo results showed reasonable agreement with the “gold-standard” reference maps obtained from VE-pCASL. The Dice similarity coefficient which represents the fractional overlap between VE-DASL and “gold-standard” VE-pCASL territories ranged from 83.4% to 87.7% for the right internal cerebral artery (RICA), 81.7% to 83.1% for the left internal cerebral artery (LICA) and 64.3% to 71.8% for the vertebral arteries.

Conclusion:

VE-DASL has the potential to map the main flow territories with whole-brain coverage in a short scan duration (˜30 s). Magn Reson Med 75:2041–2049, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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