We have recently described an extension of calibrated MRI, which we term QUO2 (for QUantitative O(2) imaging), providing absolute quantification of resting oxidative metabolism (CMRO(2)) and oxygen extraction fraction (OEF(0)). By combining BOLD, arterial spin labeling (ASL) and end-tidal O(2) measurements in response to hypercapnia, hyperoxia and combined hyperoxia/hypercapnia manipulations, and the same MRI measurements during a task, a comprehensive set of vascular and metabolic measurements can be obtained using a generalized calibration model (GCM). These include the baseline absolute CBF in units of ml/100g/min, cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) in units of %Δ CBF/mm Hg, M in units of percent, OEF(0) and CMRO(2) at rest in units of μmol/100g/min, percent evoked CMRO(2) during the task and n, the value for flow-metabolic coupling associated with the task. The M parameter is a calibration constant corresponding to the maximal BOLD signal that would occur upon removal of all deoxyhemoglobin. We have previously shown that the GCM provides estimates of the above resting parameters in grey matter that are in excellent agreement with literature. Here we demonstrate the method using functionally-defined regions-of-interest in the context of an activation study. We applied the method under high and low signal-to-noise conditions, corresponding respectively to a robust visual stimulus and a modified Stroop task. The estimates fall within the physiological range of literature values, showing the general validity of the GCM approach to yield non-invasively an extensive array of relevant vascular and metabolic parameters.
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