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Cerebrovascular Reactivity Measurement with Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy

Franck Amyot1, Cora Davis1, Mike Sangobowale4, Carol Moore2, Erika Silverman4, Amir Gandjbakhche3, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia4, Kimbra Kenney1,2


Cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) is the capacity of blood vessels in the brain to alter cerebral blood flow (either with dilation or constriction) in response to chemical or physical stimuli. The amount of reactivity in the cerebral microvasculature depends on the integrity of the capacitance vasculature and is the primary function of endothelial cells. CVR is, therefore, an indicator of the microvasculature’s physiology and overall health. Imaging methods that can measure CVR are available but can be costly, and require magnetic resonance imaging centers and technical expertise. In this study, we used fNIRS technology to monitor changes of oxyhemoglobin (HbO) and deoxyhemoglobin (HbR) in the cerebral microvasculature to assess the CVR of 15 healthy controls (HC) in response to a vasoactive stimulus (inhaled 5% carbon dioxide or CO2). Our results suggest that this is a promising imaging technology that offers a non-invasive, accurate, portable, and cost-effective method of mapping cortical CVR and associated microvasculature function, resulting from a traumatic brain injury or other conditions associated with cerebral microvasculopathy.

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