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Magn Reson Med. 2010 Sep;64(3):799-810. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22465.

Multiphase pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (MP-PCASL) for robust quantification of cerebral blood flow.

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Center for Functional MRI and Department of Radiology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) has been demonstrated to provide the sensitivity of the continuous arterial spin labeling method while overcoming many of the limitations of that method. Because the specification of the phases in the radiofrequency pulse train in PCASL defines the tag and control conditions of the flowing arterial blood, its tagging efficiency is sensitive to factors, such as off-resonance fields, that induce phase mismatches between the radiofrequency pulses and the flowing spins. As a result, the quantitative estimation of cerebral blood flow with PCASL can exhibit a significant amount of error when these factors are not taken into account. In this paper, the sources of the tagging efficiency loss are characterized and a novel PCASL method that utilizes multiple phase offsets is proposed to reduce the tagging efficiency loss in PCASL. Simulations are performed to evaluate the feasibility and the performance of the proposed method. Quantitative estimates of cerebral blood flow obtained with multiple phase offset PCASL are compared to estimates obtained with conventional PCASL and pulsed arterial spin labeling. Our results show that multiple phase offset PCASL provides robust cerebral blood flow quantification while retaining much of the sensitivity advantage of PCASL.

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