Measurement of regional cerebral pH in human subjects using continuous inhalation of 11CO2 and positron emission tomography

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1984 Sep;4(3):458-65. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.1984.65.


The cerebral pH of four normal human subjects has been measured using continuous inhalation of 11CO2 and positron emission tomography (PET). 11CO2 was administered to each subject at a constant rate for 15 min, during which time serial arterial plasma 11C levels were determined and serial 11C cerebral uptake PET scans were performed at a fixed axial tomographic level. 11C uptake kinetics were analysed using a three-compartment model. Rate constants have been estimated for the free exchange of 11CO2 between plasma and cerebral compartments for each subject, and their cerebral pH calculated. Whole brain pH values ranged from 6.96 to 7.05, and no significant pH difference between regions containing predominantly grey or white matter was noted. Best fits to 11C uptake data were achieved by effectively neglecting the metabolic fixation of 11C by cerebral tissue. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of pH measurement using the 11CO2 continuous inhalation technique. It is concluded from the results and the error analysis that continuous 11CO2 inhalation combined with PET is potentially a simple and useful method for determining regional cerebral pH.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Carbon Dioxide*
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Biological
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Respiration
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Carbon Dioxide