Regional cortical perfusion on arterial spin labeling MRI in dementia with Lewy bodies: Associations with clinical severity, glucose metabolism and tau PET

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14 Scopus citations


Visually preserved metabolism in posterior cingulate cortex relative to hypometabolism in precuneus and cuneus, the cingulate island sign, is a feature of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) on FDG-PET. Lower cingulate island sign ratio (posterior cingulate cortex/cuneus+precuneus; FDG-CISr) values have been associated with a higher Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage in autopsied DLB. Using voxel-wise analysis, we assessed the patterns of regional cortical perfusion and metabolism, and using an atlas-based approach, we measured perfusion cingulate island sign ratio on arterial spin labeling MRI (ASL-CISr), and its associations with FDG-CISr, uptake on tau-PET and clinical severity in DLB. Our study sample (n = 114) included clinically probable DLB patients (n = 19), age-matched patients with probable Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD; n = 19) and matched controls (n = 76) who underwent MRI with 3-dimensional pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling, 18F-FDG-PET and 18F-AV-1451 tau PET. Patterns of cortical perfusion and metabolism were derived from quantitative maps using Statistical Parametric Mapping. DLB patients showed hypoperfusion on ASL-MRI in precuneus, cuneus and posterior parieto-occipital cortices, compared to controls, and relatively spared posterior cingulate gyrus, similar to pattern of hypometabolism on FDG-PET. DLB patients had higher ASL-CISr and FDG-CISr than AD patients (p <0.001). ASL-CISr correlated with FDG-CISr in DLB patients (r = 0.67; p =0.002). Accuracy of distinguishing DLB from AD patients was 0.80 for ASL-CISr and 0.91 for FDG-CISr. Lower ASL-CISr was moderately associated with a higher composite medial temporal AV-1451 uptake (r = −0.50; p =0.03) in DLB. Lower perfusion in precuneus and cuneus was associated with worse global clinical scores. In summary, the pattern of cortical hypoperfusion on ASL-MRI is similar to hypometabolism on FDG-PET, and respective cingulate island sign ratios correlate with each other in DLB. Non-invasive and radiotracer-free ASL-MRI may be further developed as a tool for the screening and diagnostic evaluation of DLB patients in a variety of clinical settings where FDG-PET is not accessible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-947
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Arterial spin labeling MRI
  • Cingulate island sign ratio
  • Cortical perfusion
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Or AV1–1451 tau PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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