Regional cerebrovascular responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia

Corfield, D. R. and McKay, L. C. (2016) Regional cerebrovascular responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia. In: Roach, R. C., Hackett, P. H. and Wagner, P. D. (eds.) Hypoxia: Translation in Progress. Series: Advances in experimental medicine and Biology, 3 (903). Springer US, pp. 157-167. ISBN 9781489976765 (doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-7678-9_11)

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A limited number of studies using differing imaging approaches suggest that there are regional variation in the cerebrovascular response to hypercapnia and hypoxia. However there are limitations to these studies. In particular, it is not clear if existing studies of hypoxia have fully accounted for the confounding effects of the changes in arterial PCO2 on cerebral perfusion that, if uncontrolled, will accompany the hypoxic stimulus. We determined quantitative maps of grey matter cerebral blood flow using a multi-slice pulsed arterial spin labelling MRI method at 3 T at rest, during conditions of isocapnic euoxia, hypercapnia, and mild isocapnic hypoxia. From these data, we determined grey matter cerebrovascular reactivity maps which show the spatial distribution of the responses to these interventions. Whilst, overall, cerebral perfusion increased with hypercapnia and hypoxia, hypoxia cerebrovascular reactivity maps showed very high variation both within and between individuals: most grey matter regions exhibiting a positive cerebrovascular reactivity, but some exhibiting a negative reactivity. The physiological explanation for this variation remains unclear and it is not known if these local differences will vary with state or with regional brain activity. The potential interaction between hypoxic or hypercapnic cerebrovascular changes and neurally related changes in brain perfusion is of particular interest for functional imaging studies of brain activation in which arterial blood gases are altered. We have determined the interaction between global hypoxia and hypercapnia-induced blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) MRI signal and local neurally related BOLD signal. Although statistically significant interactions were present, physiologically the effects were weak and, in practice, they did not change the statistical outcome related to the analysis of the neurally related signals. These data suggest that such respiratory-related confounds can be successfully accounted for in functional imaging studies.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McKay, Dr Leanne
Authors: Corfield, D. R., and McKay, L. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Publisher:Springer US

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