Perfusion measures for symptom severity and differential outcome of revascularization in limb ischemia: Preliminary results with arterial spin labeling reactive hyperemia

Hou Jen Chen, Trisha L. Roy, Graham A. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Previously, a theoretical model based on microvascular physiology was established to facilitate the interpretation of calf perfusion dynamics recorded by arterial spin labeling (ASL). Purpose: To investigate the clinical relevance of novel perfusion indices by comparing them to the symptoms, response to revascularization, and short-term functional outcome in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Study Type: Prospective cohort study. Population: Nineteen patients with PAD. Field Strength/Sequence: Pulsed ASL at 3T. Assessment: The mid-calf reactive hyperemia induced by 2 minutes of arterial occlusion was recorded in PAD patients. The perfusion responses were characterized by the peak, time-to-peak, and physiological model-derived indices including the baseline perfusion f r , arterial resistance R a , and compliance C a , and sensitivity g ATP and response time τ ATP of downstream microvasculature to metabolic stress. These indices were compared to the disease severity and outcome within 6 months after revascularization assessed by self-reported symptoms and the ankle-brachial index. Disease severity was categorized as asymptomatic, claudication, or critical limb ischemia. The outcome was categorized as symptom resolved or limited improvement. Statistical Tests: Severity and outcome groups were compared using Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests with Holm–Sidak adjustments. Results: The peak perfusion decreased and model arterial resistance increased progressively with increasing severity of limb ischemia (P = 0.0402 and 0.0413, respectively). Eleven patients had a successful endovascular procedure, including six patients who had symptoms resolved, four patients who had remaining leg pain, and one patient lost to follow-up. The subjects with limited improvement had significantly lower preintervention microvascular sensitivity g ATP than those with symptoms resolved (8.72 ± 1.46 vs. 4.93 ± 0.91, P = 0.0466). Data Conclusion: ASL reactive hyperemia reflects multiple aspects of the pathophysiology. Measures of macrovascular arterial disease are related to the manifested symptom severity, whereas preintervention g ATP associated with microvascular dysfunction is related to prognosis following revascularization. Level of Evidence: 1. Technical Efficacy: Stage 4. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018;47:1578–1588.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1578-1588
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • arterial spin labeling
  • muscle perfusion
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • reactive hyperemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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