Changes in arterial cerebral blood volume during lower body negative pressure measured with MRI

Joseph R. Whittaker*, Molly G. Bright, Ian D. Driver, Adele Babic, Sharmila Khot, Kevin Murphy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cerebral Autoregulation (CA), defined as the ability of the cerebral vasculature to maintain stable levels of blood flow despite changes in systemic blood pressure, is a critical factor in neurophysiological health. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful technique for investigating cerebrovascular function, offering high spatial resolution and wide fields of view (FOV), yet it is relatively underutilized as a tool for assessment of CA. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the potential of using MRI to measure changes in cerebrovascular resistance in response to lower body negative pressure (LBNP). A Pulsed Arterial Spin Labeling (PASL) approach with short inversion times (TI) was used to estimate cerebral arterial blood volume (CBVa) in eight healthy subjects at baseline and −40 mmHg LBNP. We estimated group mean CBVa values of 3.13 ± 1.00 and 2.70 ± 0.38 for baseline and lbnp respectively, which were the result of a differential change in CBVa during −40 mmHg LBNP that was dependent on baseline CBVa. These data suggest that the PASL CBVa estimates are sensitive to the complex cerebrovascular response that occurs during the moderate orthostatic challenge delivered by LBNP, which we speculatively propose may involve differential changes in vascular tone within different segments of the arterial vasculature. These novel data provide invaluable insight into the mechanisms that regulate perfusion of the brain, and establishes the use of MRI as a tool for studying CA in more detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-175
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Arterial spin labeling
  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Cerebral blood volume
  • Lower body negative pressure
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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