Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Arterial spin labeling techniques can yield quantitative measures of perfusion by fitting a kinetic model to difference images (tagged-control). Because of the noisy nature of the difference images investigators typically average a large number of tagged versus control difference measurements over long periods of time. This averaging requires that the perfusion signal be at a steady state and not at the transitions between active and baseline states in order to quantitatively estimate activation induced perfusion. This can be an impediment for functional magnetic resonance imaging task experiments. In this work, we introduce a general linear model (GLM) that specifies Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) effects and arterial spin labeling modulation effects and translate them into meaningful, quantitative measures of perfusion by using standard tracer kinetic models. We show that there is a strong association between the perfusion values using our GLM method and the traditional subtraction method, but that our GLM method is more robust to noise.