Volumetric Cerebral Perfusion Imaging in Healthy Adults: Regional Distribution, Laterality, and Repeatability of Pulsed Continuous Arterial Spin Labeling (PCASL)


Pfefferbaum, A., Chanraud, S., Pitel, A. L., Shankaranarayanan, A., Alsop, D. C., Rohlfing, T., & Sullivan, E. V. (2010). Volumetric cerebral perfusion imaging in healthy adults: regional distribution, laterality, and repeatability of pulsed continuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL). Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 182(3), 266-273.


The regional distribution, laterality, and reliability of volumetric pulsed continuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) measurements of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar regions were determined in 10 normal volunteers studied on two occasions separated by 3 to 7 days. Regional CBF, normalized for global perfusion, was highly reliable when measured on separate days. Several regions showed significant lateral asymmetry; notably, in frontal regions CBF was greater in the right than left hemisphere, whereas left was greater than right in posterior regions. There was considerable regional variability across the brain, whereby the posterior cingulate and central and posterior precuneus cortices had the highest perfusion and the globus pallidus the lowest gray matter perfusion. The latter may be due to iron-induced T1 shortening affecting labeled spins and computed CBF signal. High CBF in the posterior cingulate and posterior and central precuneus cortices in this task-free acquisition suggests high activity in these principal nodes of the “default mode network.”

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