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Keywords:

  • brain;
  • cerebral blood flow;
  • cerebrovascular diseases;
  • MRI;
  • vascular territory

Abstract

The ability to assess the perfusion territories of major cerebral arteries can be a valuable asset to the diagnosis of a number of cerebrovascular diseases. Recently, several arterial spin labeling (ASL) techniques have been proposed for determining the cerebral perfusion territories of individual arteries by three different approaches: (1) using a dedicated labeling radio frequency (RF) coil; (2) applying selective inversion of spatially confined areas; (3) employing multidimensional RF pulses. Methods that use a separate labeling RF coil have high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), low RF power deposition, and unrestricted three-dimensional coverage, but are mostly limited to separation of the left and right circulation, and do require extra hardware, which may limit their implementation in clinical systems. Alternatively, methods that utilize selective inversion have higher flexibility of implementation and higher arterial selectivity, but suffer from imaging artifacts resulting from interference between the labeling slab and the volume of interest. The goal of this review is to provide the reader with a critical survey of the different ASL approaches proposed to date for determining cerebral perfusion territories, by discussing the relative advantages and disadvantages of each technique, so as to serve as a guide for future refinement of this promising methodology. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.