Optimization of phase-contrast MRI for the quantification of whole-brain cerebral blood flow

Shin Lei Peng, Pan Su, Fu Nien Wang, Yan Cao, Rong Zhang, Hanzhang Lu, Peiying Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background Whole-brain cerebral blood flow (CBF) measured by phase-contrast MRI (PC-MRI) provides an important index for brain function. This work aimed to optimize the PC-MRI imaging protocol for accurate CBF measurements. Methods Two studies were performed on a 3 Tesla system. In Study 1 (N = 12), we optimized in-plane resolution of PC-MRI acquisition for CBF quantification by considering accuracy, precision, and scan duration. In Study 2 (N = 7), we assessed the detrimental effect of nonperpendicular imaging slice orientation on CBF quantification. Both One-way analysis of variance with repeated measurement and Friedman test were used to examine the effects of resolution and angulation on CBF quantification. Additionally, we evaluated the inter-rater reliability in PC-MRI data processing. Results Our results showed that CBF measurement with 0.7 mm resolution could be overestimated by up to 13.3% when compared with 0.4 mm resolution. Moreover, CBF could also be overestimated by up to 18.8% when the slice orientation is deviated by 30- from the ideal angulation. However, within 10- of the ideal slice orientation, estimated CBF was not significantly different from each other (P = 0.23 and 0.45 for internal carotid artery and vertebral artery, respectively). Inter-rater difference was <3%. Conclusion For fast and accurate quantification of whole-brain CBF with PC-MRI, we recommend the use of an imaging resolution of 0.5 mm and a slice orientation that is less than 10- from vessel's axial plane. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2015;42:1126-1133.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1126-1133
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • blood flow quantification
  • cerebral blood flow
  • flow velocity
  • partial voluming effect
  • phase-contrast MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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