To determine how arterial spin labeling (ASL) measured perfusion relates to baseline metabolism, we compared resting state cerebral perfusion using pseudo-continuous ASL and cerebral glucose metabolism using 18F-FDG PET in 20 normal volunteers. Greater regional metabolism relative to perfusion was observed in the putamen, orbitofrontal and temporal lobes, whereas perfusion was relatively higher in the hippocampus and insula. In a region of interest analysis limited to gray matter, the overall mean correlation between perfusion and metabolism across voxels was r=0.43 with considerable regional variability. Cross-voxel correlations between relative perfusion and metabolism in mean ASL and PET images of all 20 subjects were the highest in the striatum (caudate: r=0.78; putamen: r=0.81), and the lowest in medial temporal structures (amygdala: r=0.087; hippocampus: r=-0.26). Correlations between mean relative perfusion and metabolism across 20 subjects were the highest in the striatum (caudate: r=0.76; putamen: r=0.58), temporal lobe (r=0.59), and frontal lobe (r=0.52), but very poor in all other structures (r<0.3), particularly in caudal structures such as the hippocampus (r=-0.0026), amygdala (r=0.18), and insula (r=0.14). Although there was good overall correlation between perfusion and glucose metabolism, regional variability should be considered when using either ASL or 18F-FDG PET as surrogate markers for neural activity.
- Arterial spin labeling
- Glucose metabolism