Longitudinal Reproducibility and Accuracy of Pseudo-Continuous Arterial Spin–labeled Perfusion MR Imaging in Typically Developing Children

Perfusion (top) and structural (bottom) templates calculated by using data from 22 subjects.

Purpose: To evaluate the longitudinal repeatability and accuracy of cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements by using pseudo-continuous arterial spin–labeled (pCASL) perfusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in typically developing children.

Materials and Methods: Institutional review board approval with HIPAA compliance and informed consent were obtained. Twenty-two children aged 7–17 years underwent repeated pCASL examinations 2–4 weeks apart with a 3-T MR imager, along with in vivo blood T1 and arterial transit time measurements. Phase-contrast (PC) MR imaging was performed as the reference standard for global blood flow volume. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and within-subject coefficient of variation (wsCV) were used to evaluate accuracy and repeatability.

Results: The accuracy of pCASL against the reference standard of PC MR imaging increased on incorporating subjectwise in vivo blood T1 measurement (ICC: 0.32 vs 0.58). The ICC further increased to 0.65 by using a population-based model of blood T1. Additionally, CBF measurements with use of pCASL demonstrated a moderate to good level of longitudinal repeatability in whole brain (ICC = 0.61, wsCV = 15%), in gray matter (ICC = 0.65, wsCV = 14%), and across 16 brain regions (mean ICC = 0.55, wsCV = 17%). The mean arterial transit time was 1538 msec ± 123 (standard deviation) in the pediatric cohort studied, which showed an increasing trend with age (P = .043).

Conclusion: Incorporating developmental changes in blood T1 is important for improving the accuracy of pCASL CBF measurements in children and adolescents; the noninvasive nature, accuracy, and longitudinal repeatability should facilitate the use of pCASL perfusion MR imaging in neurodevelopmental studies.

Varsha Jain, BS, Jeffrey Duda, PhD, Brian Avants, PhD, Mariel Giannetta, BS, Sharon X. Xie, PhD, Timothy Roberts, PhD, John A. Detre, MD, Hallam Hurt, MD, Felix W. Wehrli, PhD and Danny J. J. Wang, PhD, MSCE. “Longitudinal Reproducibility and Accuracy of Pseudo-Continuous Arterial Spin–labeled Perfusion MR Imaging in Typically Developing Children,” Radiology 2010; 263:527-536.


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