Using arterial spin labeling to measure cerebrovascular reactivity in Moyamoya disease: Insights from simultaneous PET/MRI
Cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) reflects the CBF change to meet different physiological demands. The reference CVR technique is PET imaging with vasodilators but is inaccessible to most patients. DSC can measure transit time to evaluate patients suspected of stroke, but the use of gadolinium may cause side-effects. Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is a non-invasive MRI technique for CBF measurements. Here, we investigate the effectiveness of ASL with single and multiple post labeling delays (PLD) to replace PET and DSC for CVR and transit time mapping in 26 Moyamoya patients. Images were collected using simultaneous PET/MRI with acetazolamide. CVR, CBF, arterial transit time (ATT), and time-to-maximum (Tmax) were measured in different flow territories. Results showed that CVR was lower in occluded regions than normal regions (by 68 ± 12%, 52 ± 5%, and 56 ± 9%, for PET, single- and multi-PLD PCASL, respectively, all p < 0.05). Multi-PLD PCASL correlated slightly higher with PET (CCC = 0.36 and 0.32 in affected and unaffected territories respectively). Vasodilation caused ATT to reduce by 4.5 ± 3.1% (p < 0.01) in occluded regions. ATT correlated significantly with Tmax (R2 > 0.35, p < 0.01). Therefore, multi-PLD ASL is recommended for CVR studies due to its high agreement with the reference PET technique and the capability of measuring transit time.