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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2018, Article ID 5360375, 15 pages
Review Article

Overview and Critical Appraisal of Arterial Spin Labelling Technique in Brain Perfusion Imaging

1Department of Radiology Technology, Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Brain Repair & Rehabilitation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK
3National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Amirah Alsaedi;

Received 7 December 2017; Accepted 11 April 2018; Published 8 May 2018

Academic Editor: Luc Zimmer

Copyright © 2018 Amirah Alsaedi et al. 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) allows absolute quantification of CBF via a diffusible intrinsic tracer (magnetically labelled blood water) that disperses from the vascular system into neighbouring tissue. Thus, it can provide absolute CBF quantification, which eliminates the need for the contrast agent, and can be performed repeatedly. This review will focus on the common ASL acquisition techniques (continuous, pulsed, and pseudocontinuous ASL) and how ASL image quality might be affected by intrinsic factors that may bias the CBF measurements. We also provide suggestions to mitigate these risks, model appropriately the acquired signal, increase the image quality, and hence estimate the reliability of the CBF, which consists an important noninvasive biomarker. Emerging methodologies for extraction of new ASL-based biomarkers, such as arterial arrival time (AAT) and arterial blood volume (aBV), will be also briefly discussed.