Imaging of diffusion and microcirculation with gradient sensitization: Design, strategy, and significance

Denis Le Bihan, Robert Turner, Chrit T.W. Moonen, James Pekar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Recent developments in the use of magnetic resonance (MR) to measure and image diffusion and blood microcirculation (“perfusion”) are summarized. After a brief description of the effects of diffusion and perfusion on the MR signal, the different methods (conventional spin‐echo, stimulated‐echo, gradient‐echo, and echo‐planar imaging) that have been proposed and used to image and measure diffusion and perfusion by gradient sensitization are presented, along with their advantages and limitations. The difficulties of diffusion/ perfusion imaging related to both hardware and software are then discussed. Special attention is given to specific problems encountered with in vivo studies and data analysis. Finally, the potential biologic and clinical applications are outlined, and some examples are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-28
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood vessels, MR studies, 17.1214
  • Blood, flow dynamics
  • Brain, MR studies, 10.1214
  • Brain, perfusion
  • Cerebral blood vessels, MR studies, 17.1214
  • Cerebral blood vessels, flow dynamics
  • Diffusion imaging
  • Echo‐planar imaging
  • Microcirculation imaging
  • Physics
  • Pulse sequences
  • Tissue characterization
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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