Arterial spin labeling in patients with schizophrenia: a systematic review


Arch. Clin. Psychiatry (São Paulo)




Abstract Background: Neuroimaging studies are an invaluable source of information about the physiopathology of schizophrenia. Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is a new magnetic resonance technique (MRI) that is able to effectively evaluate brain function without the use of radiation. Objective: To make a systematic review of studies using ASL to compare resting-state regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) patterns in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Methods: Original articles were searched for on PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and PsycINFO electronic databases. The search terms used were ‘arterial’, ‘spin’, ‘labeling’, and ‘schizophrenia’. Only studies comparing resting-state rCBF were included, a qualitative synthesis was then performed. Results: Ten articles were included in the review among a total of 22. Decreased rCBF in schizophrenia patients was described in the anterior cingulate, cuneus, fusiform gyrus, frontal lobe, left middle frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, lingual gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, and parietal lobe. The putamen was the only region with increased rCBF in schizophrenia. Discussion: The evidence of the studies reviewed lends support to the concept of hipofrontality in schizophrenia. rCBF alterations were found in regions classically associated with schizophrenia. ASL seems to be valid, and reliable tool to assess schizophrenia.

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