Hemodynamic responses to visual stimulation in children with sickle cell anemia


Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) and cerebral blood flow (CBF)-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were used to measure primary visual cortex responses to photic stimulation in 23 children (12. 4 ± 0. 7 years old) with sickle cell anemia (SCA) and 21 clinical controls (11 ± 1. 0 years old). The objectives were to investigate the effect of SCA on detection of brain activation with fMRI and to explore the relationship between fMRI responses and global cognitive function. The BOLD responses were diminished in children with SCA. Clinical indicators of disease severity were greatest in patients without detectable visual cortex activation, but blood hemoglobin concentration and resting CBF were not predictive of BOLD signal amplitude in the SCA patients. Unexpectedly, the BOLD signal amplitude was positively associated (rs ≥ 0. 8, p ≤ 0. 05) with Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence scores, suggesting that fMRI may help clarify medical, hemodynamic, and neural factors that mediate adverse effects of SCA on neurocognitive function. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Publication Title

Brain Imaging and Behavior