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Characterizing Resting-State Brain Function Using Arterial Spin Labeling.


Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an increasingly established magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that is finding broader applications in studying the healthy and diseased brain. This review addresses the use of ASL to assess brain function in the resting state. Following a brief technical description, we discuss the use of ASL in the following main categories: (1) resting-state functional connectivity (FC) measurement: the use of ASL-based cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements as an alternative to the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) technique to assess resting-state FC; (2) the link between network CBF and FC measurements: the use of network CBF as a surrogate of the metabolic activity within corresponding networks; and (3) the study of resting-state dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and cerebral metabolism: the use of dynamic CBF information obtained using ASL to assess dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and oxidative metabolism in the resting state. In addition, we summarize some future challenges and interesting research directions for ASL, including slice-accelerated (multiband) imaging as well as the effects of motion and other physiological confounds on perfusion-based FC measurement. In summary, this work reviews the state-of-the-art of ASL and establishes it as an increasingly viable MRI technique with high translational value in studying resting-state brain function.

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