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Effects of Anesthetic Agents on Brain Blood Oxygenation Level Revealed with Ultra-High Field MRI
Published: Monday, March 12, 2012
Author: Luisa Ciobanu et al.

by Luisa Ciobanu, Olivier Reynaud, Lynn Uhrig, B├ęchir Jarraya, Denis Le Bihan

During general anesthesia it is crucial to control systemic hemodynamics and oxygenation levels. However, anesthetic agents can affect cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism in a drug-dependent manner, while systemic hemodynamics is stable. Brain-wide monitoring of this effect remains highly challenging. Because T2*-weighted imaging at ultra-high magnetic field strengths benefits from a dramatic increase in contrast to noise ratio, we hypothesized that it could monitor anesthesia effects on brain blood oxygenation. We scanned rat brains at 7T and 17.2T under general anesthesia using different anesthetics (isoflurane, ketamine-xylazine, medetomidine). We showed that the brain/vessels contrast in T2*-weighted images at 17.2T varied directly according to the applied pharmacological anesthetic agent, a phenomenon that was visible, but to a much smaller extent at 7T. This variation is in agreement with the mechanism of action of these agents. These data demonstrate that preclinical ultra-high field MRI can monitor the effects of a given drug on brain blood oxygenation level in the absence of systemic blood oxygenation changes and of any neural stimulation.
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