Homotopy reflects the intrinsic functional architecture of the brain through synchronized spontaneous activity between corresponding bilateral regions, measured as voxel mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC). Hypercapnia is known to have clear impact on brain hemodynamics through vasodilation, but have unclear effect on neuronal activity. This study investigates the effect of hypercapnia on brain homotopy, achieved by breathing 5% carbon dioxide (CO2) gas mixture. A total of 14 healthy volunteers completed three resting state functional MRI (RS-fMRI) scans, the first and third under normocapnia and the second under hypercapnia. VMHC measures were calculated as the correlation between the BOLD signal of each voxel and its counterpart in the opposite hemisphere. Group analysis was performed between the hypercapnic and normocapnic VMHC maps. VMHC showed a diffused decrease in response to hypercapnia. Significant regional decreases in VMHC were observed in all anatomical lobes, except for the occipital lobe, in the following functional hierarchical subdivisions: the primary sensory-motor, unimodal, heteromodal, paralimbic, as well as in the following functional networks: ventral attention, somatomotor, default frontoparietal, and dorsal attention. Our observation that brain homotopy in RS-fMRI is affected by arterial CO2 levels suggests that caution should be used when comparing RS-fMRI data between healthy controls and patients with pulmonary diseases and unusual respiratory patterns such as sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Functional MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology