ExploreASL: image processing toolbox for multi-center arterial spin labeling population analyses

HJMM Mutsaerts, J Petr, E Lysvik, A Schrantee, Z Shirzadi, F Zelaya, I Groote, O O'Daly, J Kuijer, J de Bresser, E Richard, M Caan, M van Osch, X Golay, L Reneman, B Macintosh, M Masellis, J Hendrikse, F Barkhof, A BjørnerudA Nederveen, I Asllani, P Groot

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

Abstract

Arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion MRI1 is rapidly maturing as a research tool, potential future biomarker2 and pharmacological monitoring agent3 for many diseases including neurodegeneration. There is thus a growing need for standardization of ASL image processing and quality control (QC) for voxel-based (VBA) and region-of-interest (ROI)-based analyses. Here, we present ExploreASL, a non-commercial software package that aims to harmonize image processing for ASL perfusion images for single- and multi-center studies4, 5. In addition, ExploreASL combines key structural image processing tools from recent literature to differentiate perfusion from structural effects. Initiated through the EU-funded COST-action "ASL In Dementia", ExploreASL is a collaborative framework of researchers and clinical investigators. It was already used to process ~4000 ASL images from all major MRI vendors and ASL sequences, and a large variety of patient populations. The ultimate goal is to combine data from a large number of studies and identify common and different perfusion patterns to enhance knowledge of ASL image analysis and of the role of perfusion and structural changes in neurodegenerative pathophysiology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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