About ASL Network

The past years showed tremendous developments in the field of Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL). The technique appears to be mature enough for clinical routine use. However, ASL seems to be the sub-field of MRI with the most acronyms (and different approaches). This fact, combined with the low SNR and relatively complicated quantification methods, have contributed to the lack of utilization of ASL in the clinics so far. For clinical use to become a reality, there is a real need to standardize ASL and perfusion quantification and provide sophisticated guidance for clinician, assigning methods to certain applications. Furthermore, these tools have to be available on routine scanners. For multi-center studies and pharmacological trials there is a need to provide these tools on scanners of different vendors, as well.

ASL Eiffel Tower 2018 during ISMRM

ASL has not exploited its full potential, yet. There are tremendous efforts in research to move the technology forward. This process could be sped up by coordinating research among different groups and avoid reinventing the wheel over and over again. The ASL network wants to provide a platform to share knowledge, code and tools to help the ASL field to evolve faster and mature ASL methods. It should also provide the ideal platform for education and training of both physicians and physicists new to the field.

Objectives of the ASL network are to

• investigate what is needed to bring ASL into the clinic and to specify the appropriate clinical studies or trials.
• faster evolve and mature ASL methods
• standardize ASL methods and post-processing to create a reliable clinical tool
• provide MR sequences and post-processing tools (e.g. for quantification) on scanners of different vendors and/or on post-processing workstations of these vendors
• coordinate research on ASL and stimulate collaboration by avoiding reinvention of the wheel
• sharing of research platforms/tools/facilities
• joint management of the knowledge portfolio
• staff mobility and exchanges
• the development of new research tools and platforms for common use
• generating new knowledge to fill gaps in or extend the collective knowledge portfolio
• training researchers and other key staff
• networking activities to help transfer knowledge to outside of the network
• where appropriate, promoting the exploitation of the results generated within the network
• provide guidance and help clinicians getting involved by publication of white papers, presence at clinical conferences and organization of teaching / workshops