Reproducing the hemoglobin saturation profile, a marker of the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI effect, at the microscopic level

Constantinos Hadjistassou, Keri Moyle, Yiannis Ventikos

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Abstract

The advent of functional MRI in the mid-1990s has catalyzed progress pertaining to scientific discoveries in neuroscience. With the prospect of elucidating the physiological aspect of the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) effect we present a computational capillary-tissue system capable of mapping venous hemoglobin saturation- a marker of the BOLD hemodynamic response. Free and facilitated diffusion and convection for hemoglobin and oxygen are considered in the radial and axial directions. Hemoglobin reaction kinetics are governed by the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve. Brain activation, mimicked by dynamic transitions in cerebral blood velocity (CBv) and oxidative metabolism (CMRO2 ), is simulated by normalized changes in m = (ΔCBv/CBv)/(ΔCMRO2/CMRO2) of values 2,3 and 4. Venous hemoglobin saturation profiles and peak oxygenation results, for m = 2, based upon a 50% and a 25% increase in CBv and CMRO2, respectively, lie within physiological limits exhibiting excellent correlation with the BOLD signal, for short-duration stimuli. Our analysis suggests basal CBv and CMRO2 values of 0.6 mm/s and 200 umol/100g/min. Cou-pled CBv and CMRO2 responses, for m = 3 and m = 4, overestimate peak hemoglobin satu-ration, confirming the system's responsiveness to changes in hematocrit, CBv and CMRO2. Finally, factoring in neurovascular effects, we show that no initial dip will be observed unless there is a time delay in the onset of increased CBv relative to CMRO2.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere149935
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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