IRON fMRI measurements of CBV and implications for BOLD signal
MGH/MIT/HMS Athinoula A Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 01/2012; 62(2):1000-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.070
Changes in cerebral blood volume (CBV) and blood magnetization each induce changes in the transverse relaxation rate of MRI signal that are associated with changes in cerebral activity. BOLD signal, the preeminent method for non-invasive localization of task-induced brain function in human subjects, reflects a combination of changes in CBV and blood magnetization. Intravenous injection of paramagnetic contrast media, usually iron oxide particles surrounded by larger macromolecules, can overwhelm the BOLD response and sensitize signal to blood plasma volume, a method we have deemed "IRON" fMRI. The practical advantage of this technique is the ability to optimize blood magnetization at any echo time, enabling high detection power and the use of short echo times; for these reasons, IRON fMRI has become a valuable imaging tool in animal models. The temporal response of blood plasma volume is quite different from blood flow and BOLD signal; thus, CBV has been identified as a prominent source of transient features of the BOLD response. This article reviews the methodological advantages of the IRON method and how CBV measurements have informed our understanding of the BOLD response.
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