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Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI

Functional MRI of the lung using hyperpolarized 3-helium gas.


PMID 15390146

Abstract

Lung imaging has traditionally relied on x-ray methods, since proton MRI is limited to some extent by low proton density in the lung parenchyma and static field inhomogeneities in the chest. The relatively recent introduction of MRI of hyperpolarized noble gases has led to a rapidly evolving field of pulmonary MRI, revealing functional information of the lungs, which were hitherto unattainable. This review article briefly describes the physical background of the technology, and subsequently focuses on its clinical applications. Four different techniques that have been used in various human investigations are discussed: ventilation distribution, ventilation dynamics, and small airway evaluation using diffusion imaging and oxygen uptake assessment.