The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of arterial spin labeling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the detection of cerebellar hypoperfusion in patients with spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD). Regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) were obtained from ASL and I-IMP single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images by volume-of-interest analysis in patients with SCD (n = 16). Regional CBF were also measured by ASL in age-matched controls (n = 19) and by SPECT in separate controls (n = 17). The cerebellar CBF values were normalized to the CBF values for the whole gray matter (nCBF) in ASL and SPECT. The mean cerebellar nCBF measured by ASL was lower in patients with SCD (0.70 ± 0.09) than in the controls (0.91 ± 0.05) (p < 0.001), which was consistent with the comparison using SPECT (0.82 ± 0.05 vs. 0.98 ± 0.05, p < 0.001). The cerebellar nCBF measured by ASL significantly correlated with that determined by SPECT in patients (r = 0.56, p < 0.001). ASL imaging showed decreased cerebellar blood flow, which correlated with that measured by SPECT, in patients with SCD. These findings suggest the clinical utility of noninvasive MRI with ASL for detecting cerebellar hypoperfusion in addition to atrophy, which would aid the diagnosis of SCD.
Crossed cerebellar hyperperfusion (CCH) is detected in patients with epilepsy by brain perfusion studies including single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography. In addition, brain perfusion can be studied with arterial spin labeling (ASL), which is a non-invasive MRI perfusion method that quantitatively measures cerebral blood flow per unit tissue mass. We followed up a 47-year-old patient with mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) by continuous arterial spin labeling technique, which showed crossed cerebellar hyperperfusion after acute stroke-like episode. This cerebellar hyperperfusion normalized in the follow-up.