Modeling of dynamic cerebrovascular reactivity to spontaneous and externally induced CO2 fluctuations in the human brain using BOLD-fMRI.
Prokopiou PC., Pattinson KTS., Wise RG., Mitsis GD.
In this work, we investigate the regional characteristics of the dynamic interactions between arterial CO2 and BOLD (dynamic cerebrovascular reactivity - dCVR) during normal breathing and hypercapnic, externally induced step CO2 challenges. To obtain dCVR curves at each voxel, we use a custom set of basis functions based on the Laguerre and gamma basis sets. This allows us to obtain robust dCVR estimates both in larger regions of interest (ROIs), as well as in individual voxels. We also implement classification schemes to identify brain regions with similar dCVR characteristics. Our results reveal considerable variability of dCVR across different brain regions, as well as during different experimental conditions (normal breathing and hypercapnic challenges), suggesting a differential response of cerebral vasculature to spontaneous CO2 fluctuations and larger, externally induced CO2 changes that are possibly associated with the underlying differences in mean arterial CO2 levels. The clustering results suggest that anatomically distinct brain regions are characterized by different dCVR curves that in some cases do not exhibit the standard, positive valued curves that have been previously reported. They also reveal a consistent set of dCVR cluster shapes for resting and forcing conditions, which exhibit different distribution patterns across brain voxels.