MR fingerprinting ASL: Sequence characterization and comparison with dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI

Pan Su, Hongli Fan, Peiying Liu, Yang Li, Ye Qiao, Jun Hua, Doris Lin, Dengrong Jiang, Jay J. Pillai, Argye E. Hillis, Hanzhang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


MR Fingerprinting (MRF)-based Arterial-Spin-Labeling (ASL) has the potential to measure multiple parameters such as cerebral blood flow (CBF), bolus arrival time (BAT), and tissue T1 in a single scan. However, the previous reports have only demonstrated a proof-of-principle of the technique but have not examined the performance of the sequence in the context of key imaging parameters. Furthermore, there has not been a study to directly compare the technique to clinically used perfusion method of dynamic-susceptibility-contrast (DSC) MRI. The present report consists of two studies. In the first study (N = 8), we examined the dependence of MRF-ASL sequence on TR time pattern. Ten different TR patterns with a range of temporal characteristics were examined by both simulations and experiments. The results revealed that there was a significance dependence of the sequence performance on TR pattern (p < 0.001), although there was not a single pattern that provided dramatically improvements. Among the TR patterns tested, a sinusoidal pattern with a period of 125 TRs provided an overall best estimation in terms of spatial consistency. These experimental observations were consistent with those of numerical simulations. In the second study (N = 8), we compared MRF-ASL results with those of DSC MRI. It was found that MRF-ASL and DSC MRI provided highly comparable maps of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and bolus-arrival-time (BAT), with spatial correlation coefficients of 0.79 and 0.91, respectively. However, in terms of quantitative values, BAT obtained with MRF-ASL was considerably lower than that from DSC (p < 0.001), presumably because of the differences in tracer characteristics in terms of diffusible versus intravascular tracers. Test–retest assessment of MRF-ASL MRI revealed that the spatial correlations of parametric maps were 0.997, 0.962, 0.746 and 0.863 for B1 +, T1, CBF, and BAT, respectively. MRF-ASL is a promising technique for assessing multiple perfusion parameters simultaneously without contrast agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4202
JournalNMR in biomedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • arterial spin labeling
  • cerebral blood flow
  • dynamic susceptibility contrast perfusion imaging
  • gadolinium based contrast agent
  • magnetic resonance fingerprinting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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