Arterial and portal venous liver perfusion using selective spin labelling MRI

Schalkx, Hanke J., Petersen, Esben T., Peters, Nicky H. G. M., Veldhuis, WB, van Leeuwen, MS, Pluim, JPW, van den Bosch, Maurice A. A. J., van Stralen, M


European Radiology 25 (6), p. 1529-1540


To investigate the feasibility of selective arterial and portal venous liver perfusion imaging with spin labelling (SL) MRI, allowing separate labelling of each blood supply.

The portal venous perfusion was assessed with a pulsed EPISTAR technique and the arterial perfusion with a pseudo-continuous sequence. To explore precision and reproducibility, portal venous and arterial perfusion were separately quantified in 12 healthy volunteers pre- and postprandially (before and after meal intake). In a subgroup of 6 volunteers, the accuracy of the absolute portal perfusion and its relative postprandial change were compared with MRI flow measurements of the portal vein.

The portal venous perfusion significantly increased from 63 +/- 22 ml/100g/min preprandially to 132 +/- 42 ml/100g/min postprandially. The arterial perfusion was lower with 35 +/- 22 preprandially and 22 +/- 30 ml/100g/min postprandially. The pre- and postprandial portal perfusion using SL correlated well with flow-based perfusion (r(2) = 0.71). Moreover, postprandial perfusion change correlated well between SL- and flow-based quantification (r(2) = 0.77). The SL results are in range with literature values.

Selective spin labelling MRI of the portal venous and arterial blood supply successfully quantified liver perfusion. This non-invasive technique provides specific arterial and portal venous perfusion imaging and could benefit clinical settings where contrast agents are contraindicated.