Identifying hypoperfusion in moyamoya disease with arterial spin labeling and an [15O]-Water positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging normative database

Audrey P. Fan, Mohammad M. Khalighi, Jia Guo, Yosuke Ishii, Jarrett Rosenberg, Mirwais Wardak, Jun Hyung Park, Bin Shen, Dawn Holley, Harsh Gandhi, Tom Haywood, Prachi Singh, Gary K. Steinberg, Frederick T. Chin, Greg Zaharchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Noninvasive imaging of brain perfusion has the potential to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms underlying Moyamoya disease and enable clinical imaging of cerebral blood flow (CBF) to select revascularization therapies for patients. We used hybrid positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to characterize the distribution of hypoperfusion in Moyamoya disease and its relationship to vessel stenosis severity, through comparisons with a normative perfusion database of healthy controls. Methods - To image CBF, we acquired [15O]-water PET as a reference and simultaneously acquired arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI scans in 20 Moyamoya patients and 15 age-matched, healthy controls on a PET/MRI scanner. The ASL MRI scans included a standard single-delay ASL scan with postlabel delay of 2.0 s and a multidelay scan with 5 postlabel delays (0.7-3.0s) to estimate and account for arterial transit time in CBF quantification. The percent volume of hypoperfusion in patients (determined as the fifth percentile of CBF values in the healthy control database) was the outcome measure in a logistic regression model that included stenosis grade and location. Results - Logistic regression showed that anterior (P<0.0001) and middle cerebral artery territory regions (P=0.003) in Moyamoya patients were susceptible to hypoperfusion, whereas posterior regions were not. Cortical regions supplied by arteries with stenosis on MR angiography showed more hypoperfusion than normal arteries (P=0.001), but the extent of hypoperfusion was not different between mild-moderate versus severe stenosis. Multidelay ASL did not perform differently from [15O]-water PET in detecting perfusion abnormalities, but standard ASL overestimated the extent of hypoperfusion in patients (P=0.003). Conclusions - This simultaneous PET/MRI study supports the use of multidelay ASL MRI in clinical evaluation of Moyamoya disease in settings where nuclear medicine imaging is not available and application of a normative perfusion database to automatically identify abnormal CBF in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cerebral blood flow
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • Moyamoya disease
  • positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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