Quantification of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow Using Diffusion Imaging With Phase Contrast

Naoki Ohno, Tosiaki Miyati, Fumiki Sugita, Genki Nanbu, Yuki Makino, Noam Alperin, Toshifumi Gabata, Satoshi Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The perfusion-related diffusion coefficient obtained from triexponential diffusion analysis is closely correlated with regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), as assessed by arterial spin labeling (ASL) methods. However, this provides only a semiquantitative measure of rCBF, thereby making absolute rCBF quantification challenging. Purpose: To obtain rCBF in a noninvasive manner using a novel diffusion imaging method with phase contrast (DPC), in which the total CBF from phase-contrast (PC) MRI was utilized to convert perfusion-related diffusion coefficients to rCBF values. Study Type: Prospective. Subjects: Eleven healthy volunteers (nine men and two women; mean age, 23.9 years) participated in this study. Field Strength/Sequence: A 3.0 T, single-shot diffusion echo-planar imaging with multiple b-values (0–3000 s/mm2), PC-MRI, pulsed continuous ASL, and 3D T1-weighted fast field echo. Assessment: rCBF and its correlations in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) were compared between DPC and ASL methods. rCBF in the GM and WM and the GM/WM ratio were compared with the literature values obtained using [15O]-water positron emission tomography (15O-H2O PET). Statistical Tests: Spearman's correlation coefficient and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used. Significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: A significant positive correlation between DPC and ASL in terms of rCBF was observed in GM (R = 0.9), whereas the correlation between the two methods was poor in WM (R = 0.09). The rCBF in GM and WM and the GM/WM ratio obtained using DPC were consistent with the literature values assessed using 15O-H2O PET. The rCBF value obtained using DPC was significantly higher in the GM and WM than that using ASL. Data Conclusion: DPC enabled noninvasive quantification of rCBF. Evidence Level: 2. Technical Efficacy: Stage 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1678-1686
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • cerebral blood flow
  • diffusion-weighted imaging
  • intravoxel incoherent motion
  • perfusion-related diffusion
  • phase contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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