Optimization of pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling for renal perfusion imaging
Rebeca Echeverria-Chasco 1 2 , Marta Vidorreta 3 , Verónica Aramendía-Vidaurreta 1 2 , David Cano 1 , Javier Escalada 4 , Nuria Garcia-Fernandez 2 5 , Gorka Bastarrika 1 2 , María A Fernández-Seara 1
Purpose: To evaluate labeling efficiency of pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) and to find the gradient parameters that increase PCASL robustness for renal perfusion measurements.
Methods: Aortic blood flow was characterized in 3 groups: young healthy volunteers (YHV1), chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients (CKDP), and healthy controls (HCO). PCASL inversion efficiency was evaluated through numeric simulations considering the measured pulsatile flow velocity profiles and off-resonance effects for a wide range of gradient parameters, and the results were assessed in vivo. The most robust PCASL implementation was used to measure renal blood flow (RBF) in CKDP and HCO.
Results: Aortic blood velocities reached peak values of 120 cm/s in YHV1, whereas for elderly subjects values were lower by approximately a factor of 2. Simulations and experiments showed that by reducing the gradient average (Gave ) and the selective to average gradient ratio (Gmax /Gave ), labeling efficiency was maximized and PCASL robustness to off-resonance was improved. The study in CKDP and HCO showed significant differences in RBF between groups.
Conclusion: An efficient and robust PCASL scheme for renal applications requires a Gmax /Gave ratio of 6-7 and a Gave value that depends on the aortic blood flow velocities (0.5 mT/m being appropriate for CKDP and HCO).