Measurement of skeletal muscle perfusion dynamics with pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL): Assessment of relative labeling efficiency at rest and during hyperemia, and comparison to pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL)

Erin K. Englund, Zachary B. Rodgers, Michael C. Langham, Emile R. Mohler, Thomas F. Floyd, Felix W. Wehrli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare calf skeletal muscle perfusion measured with pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL) and pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL) methods, and to assess the variability of pCASL labeling efficiency in the popliteal artery throughout an ischemia-reperfusion paradigm. Materials and Methods: At 3T, relative pCASL labeling efficiency was experimentally assessed in five subjects by measuring the signal intensity of blood in the popliteal artery just distal to the labeling plane immediately following pCASL labeling or control preparation pulses, or without any preparation pulses throughout separate ischemia-reperfusion paradigms. The relative label and control efficiencies were determined during baseline, hyperemia, and recovery. In a separate cohort of 10 subjects, pCASL and PASL sequences were used to measure reactive hyperemia perfusion dynamics. Results: Calculated pCASL labeling and control efficiencies did not differ significantly between baseline and hyperemia or between hyperemia and recovery periods. Relative to the average baseline, pCASL label efficiency was 2 ± 9% lower during hyperemia. Perfusion dynamics measured with pCASL and PASL did not differ significantly (P > 0.05). Average leg muscle peak perfusion was 47 ± 20 mL/min/100g or 50 ± 12 mL/min/100g, and time to peak perfusion was 25 ± 3 seconds and 25 ± 7 seconds from pCASL and PASL data, respectively. Differences of further metrics parameterizing the perfusion time course were not significant between pCASL and PASL measurements (P > 0.05). Conclusion: No change in pCASL labeling efficiency was detected despite the almost 10-fold increase in average blood flow velocity in the popliteal artery. pCASL and PASL provide precise and consistent measurement of skeletal muscle reactive hyperemia perfusion dynamics. J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2016;44:929–939.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-939
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016



  • labeling efficiency
  • PASL
  • pCASL
  • perfusion
  • reactive hyperemia
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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