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MRI may be used to measure fractional changes in cerebral oxygen metabolism via a metabolic model. One step commonly used in this measurement is calibration with image data acquired during hypercapnia, which is a state of increased CO2 content of the blood. In this study some commonly used hypercapnia-inducing stimuli were compared to assess their suitability for the calibration step. The following stimuli were investigated: (a) inspiration of a mixture of 4% CO2, 21% O2 and balance N2; (b) 30-s breath holding; and (c) inspiration of a mixture of 4% CO2 and 96% O2 (i.e., carbogen). Measurements of BOLD and cerebral blood flow made on nine subjects during the different hypercapnia-inducing stimuli showed that each stimulus leads to a different calibration of the model. We argue that of the aforementioned stimuli, inspiration of 4% CO2, 21% O2 and balance N2 should be preferred for the calibration as the other stimuli produce responses that violate assumptions of the metabolic model.

Original publication




Journal article


Magn Reson Med

Publication Date





391 - 398


Adult, Algorithms, Brain, Calibration, Humans, Hypercapnia, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Oximetry, Oxygen, Oxygen Consumption, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity