Characterizing blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response following in-magnet quadriceps exercise
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OBJECT: There have been no studies to investigate the effects of cycling exercise protocols, as well as repeated bouts of exercise, on the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response in the quadriceps muscles. This study characterized BOLD signal recovery following non-ischemic bouts of exercise in the quadriceps muscles of healthy adults in order to provide a basis for application of a protocol for clinical populations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Healthy male subjects (23.7 ± 2.0 years of age, n = 10) completed three cycles of one-minute exercise (65 % of maximum workload), with two minutes of rest between each bout, on an MRI-compatible ergometer. The BOLD responses during recovery were fitted to a sigmoid model, and response kinetics (post-exercise intensity [S0]), response time (α), change in baseline BOLD signal (κ), and inflection point (β)] were measured. RESULTS: The sigmoid function fit well to the post-exercise BOLD data (r (2) = 0.95 ± 0.04). The mean response time was 10.5 ± 3.8 seconds, change in baseline BOLD intensity was 0.15 ± 0.068, and time to half-peak was 20.2 ± 8.6 seconds. CONCLUSION: The proposed sigmoid model is a robust method for quantifying quadriceps BOLD response post-exercise without induced ischemia. Extension of this model to evaluate microvascular responses in patients with chronic disease could improve our understanding of exercise intolerance.
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