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The cerebrovascular bed is very sensitive to CO2changes, particularly the areas responsible for generation and control of respiratory rhythm. We have used BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and externally induced CO2challenges that stimulate respiration, to identify respiratory areas in-vivo in humans and to quantify the dynamic effects of CO2on the BOLD fMRI signal (dynamic CO2reactivity). 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 CO2changes (end-tidal forcing). The results revealed areas in the brainstem and thalamus that responded strongly to the external CO2stimuli, which correspond to respiratory nuclei identified in recent rodent studies, as well as pronounced regional differences in CO2reactivity.

Original publication




Journal article


8th IEEE International Conference on BioInformatics and BioEngineering, BIBE 2008

Publication Date