Revue de neuropsychologie


Brain perfusion MRI using Arterial Spin Labeling: principle and applications in clinical neuroscience Volume 5, issue 2, Avril-Mai-Juin 2013


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CHU de Rennes, hôpital Pontchaillou, unité d’imagerie neurofaciale, 2, rue H.-Le-Guilloux, 35033 Rennes, France, Université Rennes 1, campus Beaulieu, Inserm/Inria, Irisa, UMR CNRS 6074, unité/projet visages U746, 35042 Rennes, France, Centre Eugène-Marquis, service de médecine nucléaire, rue de la Bataille-Flandres-Dunkerque, 35042 Rennes, France, CHU de Rennes, hôpital Pontchaillou, service de neurologie, 2, rue H.-Le-Guilloux, 35033 Rennes, France

Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) is a new perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is non-invasive, without exogenous contrast agent injection or irradiation. It uses endogenous contrast agent, the magnetically labeled arterial blood protons by radiofrequencies impulsions. It has been developed by means of technological improvement and especially high field MRI and multi-channel head-coils. ASL has now been applied in numerous neurological disorders like vascular disorders, intra-cranial malignancy or dementia. One of the most important ways of research concerns ASL in dementia and its use in clinical practice seems to be close. Thus, ASL sequences are now available in clinical MRI. Lastly, functional ASL is a new activation functional MRI technique that should develop in the near future. Indeed, functional ASL has advantages in comparison with functional MRI, mainly a more accurate location of neuronal activation. The aim of this review is firstly to explain the principle of ASL techniques, secondly to describe its principal clinical and research applications, particularly in dementia and in functional MRI.