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PURPOSE: To evaluate cerebral blood flow (CBF) laterality derived from arterial spin labeling (ASL) in early-stage Parkinson's disease (PD) patients compared with those with advanced stages. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-eight patients with PD (21 patients in early stages, 17 patients in advanced stages) were retrospectively studied. The CBF maps derived from 3T ASL data were co-registered to the corresponding 3DT1WI using SPM 12 software. Caudate nucleus (CN), putamen (PT), globus pallidus (GP), and thalamus (TH) were manually traced on the representative axial slices of 3DT1WI. CBF of the CN, PT, GP, and TH was measured using corresponding pixels on the co-registered CBF maps. A laterality index (LI) was calculated as the ratio of the contralateral CBF to primary affected side CBF. Each LI was compared between early and advanced stages of PD using the Mann-Whitney U-test. The LIs were also compared between each stage of PD. RESULTS: In the CN, the LIs were significantly higher in early stages (mean LI ± SD, 95% confidence interval = 1.06 ± 0.14, 1.00-1.13) than in advanced stages (0.94 ± 0.14, 0.87-1.01; P < 0.05). We also observed a tendency toward decreased LIs with disease severity (1.10 ± 0.14, 0.99-1.21 for Hoehn and Yahr stage I; 1.04 ± 0.14, 0.92-1.12 for stage II; 0.96 ± 0.11, 0.89-1.10 for stage III; 0.93 ± 0.17, 0.81-1.05 for stage IV). CONCLUSION: The evaluation of CBF laterality pattern in the CN using ASL may be useful for assessing the disease severity of PD patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2017;45:1821-1826.

Original publication




Journal article


J Magn Reson Imaging

Publication Date





1821 - 1826


Parkinson's disease, caudate nucleus, diagnostic imaging, functional laterality, regional blood flow, Aged, Biomarkers, Blood Flow Velocity, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Female, Humans, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Male, Parkinson Disease, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Severity of Illness Index, Spin Labels