Cerebral Oxygen Metabolism in Children

About the study

The purpose of this research study is to better understand how blood flow and metabolism
change can influence brain development in the early decades of life.

We will examine brain blood flow and metabolism using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The
brain’s blood vessels expand and constrict to regulate blood flow based on the brain’s needs.
The amount of expanding and contracting the blood vessels can do varies by age. The brain’s
blood flow changes in small ways during everyday activities, such as normal brain growth,
exercise, or deep concentration. Significant illness or psychological stress may increase the
brain’s metabolic demand or cause other bigger changes in blood flow. If blood vessels are
not able to expand to give more blood flow when metabolic demand is high, the brain may not
get all of the oxygen it needs. In extreme circumstances, if the brain is unable to get
enough oxygen for a long time, a stroke may occur. Sometimes small strokes occur without
other noticeable changes and are only detectable on an MRI. These are sometimes called
“silent strokes.” In less extreme circumstances, not having as much oxygen as it wants may
cause the brain to grow and develop more slowly than it should.

One way to test the ability of blood vessels to expand is by measuring blood flow while
breathing in carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate
without increasing brain metabolism.

During this study participants may be asked to undergo a blood draw, MRI, and potential
neuropsychological assessments. It is also possible that the study team will use a special
mask to control the amount of carbon dioxide the participants breathe in so they don’t
breathe in too much.

Study point of contact

Kristin Guilliams, MD
3144546120
[email protected]

Locations

1 United States site

Age

3 to 30 Years

Phase

N/A

Study type

Interventional

Gender

All

Interventions

Other

Compensation

Unknown

Criteria

Healthy Controls:

– Healthy controls ages 3-30 years of age

– Able to participate in MRI scan without sedation

– Not currently pregnant

– No significant psychiatric history, defined as having a severe psychiatric diagnosis,
per PI discretion

– No history of epilepsy

– No history of stroke or cerebrovascular disease

– May have occasional headaches if not taking a daily preventative medication for
headaches

– Not on vasodilatory medication, such as sildenafil or verapamil

Sickle Cell Anemia Participants:

– Ages 3-30 years of age

– Hb SS or SBeta-thal

– Able to participate in MRI scan without sedation

– Not currently pregnant

– Not on vasodilatory medication, such as sildenafil or verapamil

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Survivors:

– Ages 3-30 years of age

– History of cannulation for ECMO

– Able to participate in MRI scan without sedation

– Not currently pregnant

– Not on vasodilatory medication, such as sildenafil or verapamil

Locations

  • Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, Washington University of St. Louis, 63110 [Recruiting]
Last updated 2021-07-01