Imaging Cerebral Blood Flow Changes Due to Pain with Arterial Spin Labeling
Bureau Y, Thomas A, Prato F, St. Lawrence K, Owen D
Lawson Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario
A limitation with BOLD fMRI for pain imaging is the inability to measure chronic pain. An alternative way to image pain is arterial spin labeling (ASL), although the reduced sensitivity of ASL could be a problem here. To overcome this limitation, we collected ASL data on a 3T magnet equipped with an 8-channel phased array coil. Using an experimental acute pain model, we demonstrated that ASL could detect activations in most of the areas typically associated with pain. This study suggests that with improved sensitivity, ASL offers the real possibility of imaging chronic pain with fMRI.