Simultaneous multi-slice Turbo-FLASH imaging with CAIPIRINHA for whole brain distortion-free pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling at 3 and 7T

Yi Wang, Steen Moeller, Xiufeng Li, An T. Vu, Kate Krasileva, Kamil Ugurbil, Essa Yacoub, Danny J.J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) or multiband (MB) imaging has recently been attempted for arterial spin labeled (ASL) perfusion MRI in conjunction with echo-planar imaging (EPI) readout. It was found that SMS-EPI can reduce the T1 relaxation effect of the label and improve image coverage and resolution with little penalty in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). However, EPI still suffers from geometric distortion and signal dropout from field inhomogeneity effects especially at high and ultrahigh magnetic fields. Here we present a novel scheme for achieving high fidelity distortion-free quantitative perfusion imaging by combining pseudo-continuous ASL (pCASL) with SMS Turbo-FLASH (TFL) readout at both 3 and 7T. Bloch equation simulation was performed to characterize and optimize the TFL-based pCASL perfusion signal. Two MB factors (3 and 5) were implemented in SMS-TFL pCASL and compared with standard 2D TFL and EPI pCASL sequences. The temporal SNR of SMS-TFL pCASL relative to that of standard TFL pCASL was 0.76±0.10 and 0.74±0.11 at 7T and 0.70±0.05 and 0.65±0.05 at 3T for MB factor of 3 and 5, respectively. By implementing background suppression in conjunction with SMS-TFL at 3T, the relative temporal SNR improved to 0.84±0.09 and 0.79±0.10 for MB factor of 3 and 5, respectively. Compared to EPI pCASL, significantly increased temporal SNR (p<0.001) and improved visualization of orbitofrontal cortex were achieved using SMS-TFL pCASL. By combining SMS acceleration with TFL pCASL, we demonstrated the feasibility for whole brain distortion-free quantitative mapping of cerebral blood flow at high and ultrahigh magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) Grants R01-MH080892 , R01-NS081077 , and R01-EB014922 , the NIH Human Connectome Project ( NIH U54MH091657 ), the Biomedical Technology Resource Centers (BTRC) National Center for Research Resources (NCRR; P41 RR08079 ), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB; P41 EB015894 ) and the Siemens Healthcare USA, Inc. In addition, the authors would like to acknowledge Robert Smith for the helpful discussion on the manuscript and Kay Jann for the statistical analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Arterial spin labeling (ASL)
  • Cerebral blood flow (CBF)
  • Multiband (MB)
  • Simultaneous multi-slice (SMS)
  • Turbo-FLASH (TFL)

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