Neurovascular uncoupling in resting state fMRI demonstrated in patients with primary brain gliomas

Shruti Agarwal, Haris I. Sair, Noushin Yahyavi-Firouz-Abadi, Raag Airan, Jay J. Pillai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background To demonstrate that the problem of brain tumor-related neurovascular uncoupling (NVU) is a significant issue with respect to resting state blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (rsfMRI) similar to task-based BOLD fMRI, in which signal detectability can be compromised by breakdown of normal neurovascular coupling. Methods We evaluated seven de novo brain tumor patients who underwent resting state fMRI as part of comprehensive clinical fMRI exams at 3 Tesla. For each of the seven patients who demonstrated evidence of NVU on task-based motor fMRI, we performed both an independent component analysis (ICA) and an atlas-based parcellation-based seed correlation analysis (SCA) of the resting state fMRI data. For each patient, ipsilesional (IL) and contralesional (CL) regions of interest (ROIs) comprising primary motor and somatosensory cortices were used to evaluate BOLD signal changes on Z score maps derived from both ICA and SCA analysis for evidence of NVU. A subsequent two-tailed t-test was performed to determine whether statistically significant differences between the two sides were present that were consistent with NVU. Results In seven patients, overall decreased BOLD signal (based on suprathreshold voxels in ICA and SCA-derived Z-score maps) was noted in IL compared with CL ROIs (P < 0.01), consistent with NVU. Conclusion We have demonstrated that NVU can result in false negative BOLD signal changes on rsfMRI comparable to previously published findings on standard motor task-based fMRI. J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2016;43:620-626.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-626
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • motor activation
  • neurovascular uncoupling
  • presurgical mapping
  • resting state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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