Modeling of regional dynamic CO2 reactivity in respiratory related brain areas using BOLD fMRI
Mitsis GD., Harvey AK., Dirckx S., Mayhew SD., Rogers R., Tracey I., Wise RG., Pattinson KTS.
The cerebrovascular bed is very sensitive to CO 2 changes, particularly the areas responsible for generation and control of respiratory rhythm. We have used BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and externally induced CO 2 challenges that stimulate respiration, to identify respiratory areas in-vivo in humans and to quantify the dynamic effects of CO 2 on the BOLD fMRI signal (dynamic CO 2 reactivity). We sought to identify regional differences in dynamic reactivity within the brainstem and other respiratory related areas (thalamus) by using linear impulse response (IR) and nonlinear Volterra models, as well as experimental measurements obtained during spontaneous breathing and larger externally induced step CO 2 changes (end-tidal forcing). The results revealed areas in the brainstem and thalamus that responded strongly to the external CO 2 stimuli, which correspond to respiratory nuclei identified in recent rodent studies, as well as pronounced regional differences in CO 2 reactivity.