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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 4;8(6):e65884. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065884. Print 2013.

Resting state brain function analysis using concurrent BOLD in ASL perfusion fMRI.

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Department of psychology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.


The past decade has seen astounding discoveries about resting-state brain activity patterns in normal brain as well as their alterations in brain diseases. While the vast majority of resting-state studies are based on the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI), arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion fMRI can simultaneously capture BOLD and cerebral blood flow (CBF) signals, providing a unique opportunity for assessing resting brain functions with concurrent BOLD (ccBOLD) and CBF signals. Before taking that benefit, it is necessary to validate the utility of ccBOLD signal for resting-state analysis using conventional BOLD (cvBOLD) signal acquired without ASL modulations. To address this technical issue, resting cvBOLD and ASL perfusion MRI were acquired from a large cohort (nā€Š=ā€Š89) of healthy subjects. Four widely used resting-state brain function analyses were conducted and compared between the two types of BOLD signal, including the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed-based functional connectivity (FC) analysis, independent component analysis (ICA), analysis of amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF), and analysis of regional homogeneity (ReHo). Consistent default mode network (DMN) as well as other resting-state networks (RSNs) were observed from cvBOLD and ccBOLD using PCC-FC analysis and ICA. ALFF from both modalities were the same for most of brain regions but were different in peripheral regions suffering from the susceptibility gradients induced signal drop. ReHo showed difference in many brain regions, likely reflecting the SNR and resolution differences between the two BOLD modalities. The DMN and auditory networks showed highest CBF values among all RSNs. These results demonstrated the feasibility of ASL perfusion MRI for assessing resting brain functions using its concurrent BOLD in addition to CBF signal, which provides a potentially useful way to maximize the utility of ASL perfusion MRI.

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