Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Ultra-high-field arterial spin labeling MRI for non-contrast assessment of cortical lesion perfusion in multiple sclerosis

Drury, Richard J.; Falah, Yasser; Gowland, Penny A.; Evangelou, Nikos; Bright, Molly G.; Francis, Susan T.


Richard J. Drury

Yasser Falah

Molly G. Bright



Assess the feasibility of using an optimised ultra-high-field high-spatial-resolution low-distortion ASL MRI acquisition to measure focal haemodynamic pathology in cortical lesions (CLs) in Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


Twelve MS patients (8 female, mean age=50; range=35-64 years) gave informed consent and were scanned on a 7 Tesla Philips Achieva scanner. Perfusion data were collected at multiple post-labeling delay times using a single-slice flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery ASL protocol with a balanced steady-state free precession readout scheme. CLs were identified using a high-resolution Phase-Sensitive Inversion Recovery (PSIR) scan. Significant differences in perfusion within CLs compared to immediately surrounding normal appearing grey matter (NAGMlocal) and total cortical normal appearing grey matter (NAGMcortical) were assessed using paired t-tests.


40 CLs were identified in PSIR scans that overlapped with the ASL acquisition coverage. After excluding lesions due to size or intravascular contamination, 27 lesions were eligible for analysis. Mean perfusion was 40 ± 25 ml/100g/min in CLs, 53 ± 12 ml/100g/min in NAGMlocal, and 53±8 ml/100g/min in NAGMcortical. CL perfusion was significantly reduced by 23 ± 9% (mean±SE, p=0.013) and 26 ± 9% (mean±SE, p=0.006) relative to NAGMlocal and NAGMcortical perfusion, respectively.


This is the first ASL MRI study quantifying CL perfusion in MS at 7T, demonstrating that an optimised ASL acquisition is sensitive to focal haemodynamic pathology previously observed using Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast MRI. ASL requires no exogenous contrast agent, making it a more appropriate tool to monitor longitudinal perfusion changes in MS, providing a new window to study lesion development.


Drury, R. J., Falah, Y., Gowland, P. A., Evangelou, N., Bright, M. G., & Francis, S. T. (2019). Ultra-high-field arterial spin labeling MRI for non-contrast assessment of cortical lesion perfusion in multiple sclerosis. European Radiology, 29(4), 2027–2033.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 2, 2018
Publication Date 2019-04
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 5, 2018
Journal European Radiology
Print ISSN 0938-7994
Electronic ISSN 1432-1084
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 4
Pages 2027–2033
Keywords Magnetic resonance imaging; Perfusion; Multiple sclerosis; Gray matter
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations