False positives in functional near-infrared topography.

Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, Malet Place Engineering Building, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.01). 02/2009; 645:307-14. DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-85998-9_46
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Functional cranial near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has been widely used to investigate the haemodynamic changes which occur in response to functional activation. The technique exploits the different absorption spectra of oxy- and deoxy-haemoglobin ([HbO2] [HHb]) in the near-infrared region to measure the changes in oxygenation and haemodynamics in the cortical tissue. The aim of this study was to use an optical topography system to produce topographic maps of the haemodynamic response of both frontal cortex (FC) and motor cortex (MC) during anagram solving while simultaneously monitoring the systemic physiology (mean blood pressure, heart rate, scalp flux). A total of 22 young healthy adults were studied. The activation paradigm comprised of 4-, 6- and 8- letter anagrams. 12 channels of the optical topography system were positioned over the FC and 12 channels over the MC. During the task 12 subjects demonstrated a significant change in at least one systemic variable (p < or = 0.05). Statistical analysis of task-related changes in [HbO2] and [HHb], based on a Student's t-test was insufficient to distinguish between cortical haemodynamic activation and systemic interference. This lead to false positive haemodynamic maps of activation. It is therefore necessary to use statistical testing that incorporates the systemic changes that occur during brain activation.

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