Frequency-Dependent Changes Of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow During Finger Movements: Functional MRI Compared To PET
To evaluate the effect of the repetition rate of a simple movement on the magnitude of neuronal recruitment in the primary sensorimotor cortex, we used a blood flow-sensitive, echo planar functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) sequence in six normal volunteers. Three of the volunteers also had [15O]water positron emission tomography (PET) studies using the same paradigm. Previous PET studies had shown an increase in regional CBF (rCBF) with movement frequencies up to 2 Hz and then a plateau of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at faster frequencies. To evaluate the extent of the activation, the correlation coefficient (cc) of the Fourier-transformed time-signal intensity change with the Fourier-transformed reference function was calculated pixel by pixel. The degree of activation was measured as the signal percent change of each region of interest with a cc > 0.5. The left primary sensorimotor cortex was constantly activated at 1, 1.5, 2, and 4 Hz, while there was only inconsistent activation at 0.25 and 0.5 Hz. Percent change in signal intensity linearly increased from 1 to 4 Hz. Area of activation increased up to 2 Hz and showed a tendency to decrease at higher frequencies. Individual analysis of PET data showed activation in the same location as that revealed by fMRI. The combination of progressively increasing signal intensity with an area that increases to 2 Hz and declines at faster frequencies explains the PET finding of plateau of rCBF at the faster frequencies. Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows similar results to PET, but is better able to dissociate area and magnitude of change.