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Abstract #2038

Measuring vascular reactivity with breath-holds after stroke: implications for fMRI study interpretation

Kevin Murphy 1 , Richard J.S. Wise 2 , and Fatemeh Geranmayeh 2

1 CUBRIC, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, 2 Computational Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

BOLD fMRI is a widely used technique to map brain function and monitor its recovery after stroke. Impairments in cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) will alter neurovascular coupling causing BOLD interpretability problems. This study demonstrates that CVR can be measured successfully using a breath-hold task in a stroke population. Reduced CVR in the stroke penumbra limits the interpretability of the BOLD signal in that area in comparisons with controls. However, since CVR in the penumbra remains unchanged over time, a finding of increased penumbral activity in a longitudinal study is less likely to be due to changes in vascular reactivity.

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