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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6240504, 13 pages
Review Article

Application of Arterial Spin Labelling in the Assessment of Ocular Tissues

1School of Optometry, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
2Department of Anatomy with Radiology, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand

Received 5 November 2015; Accepted 7 February 2016

Academic Editor: Guang Jia

Copyright © 2016 E. Vaghefi and B. Pontré. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Arterial spin labelling (ASL) is a noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modality, capable of measuring blood perfusion without the use of a contrast agent. While ASL implementation for imaging the brain and monitoring cerebral blood flow has been reviewed in depth, the technique is yet to be widely used for ocular tissue imaging. The human retina is a very thin but highly stratified structure and it is also situated close to the surface of the body which is not ideal for MR imaging. Hence, the application of MR imaging and ASL in particular has been very challenging for ocular tissues and retina. That is despite the fact that almost all of retinal pathologies are accompanied by blood perfusion irregularities. In this review article, we have focused on the technical aspects of the ASL and their implications for its optimum adaptation for retinal blood perfusion monitoring. Retinal blood perfusion has been assessed through qualitative or invasive quantitative methods but the prospect of imaging flow using ASL would increase monitoring and assessment of retinal pathologies. The review provides details of ASL application in human ocular blood flow assessment.