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Abstract #4603

Feasibility of a cued deep breathing task to map cerebrovascular reactivity in healthy and clinical pediatric cohorts

Kristina Zvolanek1,2, Rachael Stickland1, and Molly Bright1,2
1Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States, 2Biomedical Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States

Cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) mapping with MRI is emerging as a useful metric of vascular health. Tracking natural fluctuations in CO2 (a vasodilator) during a resting state fMRI scan has been proposed as a method to map CVR, but it is uncertain whether this method is reliable. We propose adding a two-minute breathing challenge prior to a resting state acquisition to transiently reduce CO2 levels. Here, we tested the feasibility of this method in a small pediatric cohort. The breathing challenge produced more robust CVR maps in both controls and children with cerebral palsy compared to resting state data alone.

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