Quantification of arterial cerebral blood volume using multiphase-balanced SSFP-based ASL

Lirong Yan, Cheng Li, Emily Kilroy, Felix W. Wehrli, Danny J.J. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A new technique is introduced in this study for in vivo measurement of arterial cerebral blood volume by combining arterial spin labeling with a segmented multiphase balanced steadystate free precession (bSSFP) readout sequence. This technique takes advantage of the phenomenon that the longitudinal magnetization of flowing blood is not or only marginally disturbed (besides T1 relaxation) by the bSSFP ±α pulse train. When the blood water exchanges into tissue, it becomes quickly saturated by the bSSFP pulse train due to 0 velocity and reduced T1, T2 relaxation times. Therefore, labeled blood water behaves like an intravascular contrast agent in multiphase bSSFP scans, and can be used to quantify arterial cerebral blood volume in a similar way as dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI. Both Bloch equation simulation and in vivo experiments were carried out to demonstrate the feasibility for quantifying cerebral blood volume in arteries, arterioles, and capillaries using two variants of the proposed method. Functional MRI of visual cortex stimulation was further performed using multiphase bSSFP-based arterial spin labeling and compared with vascular-space occupancy contrast. The proposed multiphase bSSFP-based arterial spin labeling technique may allow separation of cerebral blood volume of different vascular compartments for functional MRI studies and clinical evaluation of the cerebral vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial spin labeling
  • Arteriole
  • Capillary
  • Cerebral blood volume
  • Steady-state free precession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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