Functional MRI of human brain during breath holding by BOLD and FAIR techniques

Neuroimage. 1999 Feb;9(2):243-9. doi: 10.1006/nimg.1998.0399.


BOLD (blood oxygenation level-dependent) and FAIR (flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery) imaging techniques were used to investigate the oxygenation and hemodynamic responses of human brain during repeated challenges of breath holding and prolonged single breath holding. The effects of different breathing techniques on BOLD and FAIR image contrasts were carefully examined. With a periodic breath-holding paradigm of 30 s, global changes in gray matter were observable both in T*2-weighted and FAIR images. T*2-weighted images showed 1-4% relative signal intensity increases, while FAIR images demonstrated relative cerebral blood flow (CBF) increase up to 30-70%. The activated pixels depicted in FAIR images were about three times less than those seen in T*2-weighted images. With prolonged breath holding, it was observed that signal intensities in T*2-weighted and FAIR images were dependent on the breathing techniques used. Breath holding after expiration gave rise to immediate signal intensity increases in T*2-weighted and FAIR images, whereas breath holding performed after deep inspiration signals showed a biphasic change both in flow and T*2-weighted. T*2-weighted and FAIR signals showed a transient decrease before rising above the baseline level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology