Quantification of regional pulmonary blood flow using ASL-FAIRER

D. S. Bolar, David L. Levin, S. R. Hopkins, L. F. Frank, T. T. Liu, E. G. Wong, R. B. Buxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Pulsed arterial spin labeling (ASL) techniques have been theoretically and experimentally validated for cerebral blood flow (CBF) quantification. In this study ASL-FAIRER was used to measure regional pulmonary blood flow (rPBF) in seven healthy subjects. Two general ASL strategies were investigated: 1) a single-subtraction approach using one tag-control pair acquisition at an inversion time (TI) matched to the RR-interval, and 2) a multiple-subtraction approach using tag-control pairs acquired at various TIs. The mean rPBF averaged 1.70 ± 0.38 ml/min/ml when measured with the multiple-subtraction approach, and was approximately 2% less when measured with the single-subtraction method (1.66 ± 0.24 ml/min/ml). Assuming an average lung density of 0.33 g/ml, this translates into a regional perfusion of approximately 5.5 ml/g/min, which is comparable to other measures of pulmonary perfusion. As with other ASL applications, a key problem with quantitative interpretation of the results is the physical gap between the tagging region and imaged slice. Because of the high pulsatility of PBF, ASL acquisition and data analysis differ significantly between the lung and the brain. The advantages and drawbacks of the single- vs. multiple-subtraction approaches are considered within a theoretical framework tailored to PBF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1317
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Arterial spin labeling
  • Flow quantification
  • MRI
  • Pulmonary blood flow
  • Pulmonary imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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