Hyperpolarized Xe MR imaging of alveolar gas uptake in humans.


BACKGROUND: One of the central physiological functions of the lungs is to transfer inhaled gases from the alveoli to pulmonary capillary blood. However, current measures of alveolar gas uptake provide only global information and thus lack the sensitivity and specificity needed to account for regional variations in gas exchange. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we exploit the solubility, high magnetic resonance (MR) signal intensity, and large chemical shift of hyperpolarized (HP) (129)Xe to probe the regional uptake of alveolar gases by directly imaging HP (129)Xe dissolved in the gas exchange tissues and pulmonary capillary blood of human subjects. The resulting single breath-hold, three-dimensional MR images are optimized using millisecond repetition times and high flip angle radio-frequency pulses, because the dissolved HP (129)Xe magnetization is rapidly replenished by diffusive exchange with alveolar (129)Xe. The dissolved HP (129)Xe MR images display significant, directional heterogeneity, with increased signal intensity observed from the gravity-dependent portions of the lungs. CONCLUSIONS: The features observed in dissolved-phase (129)Xe MR images are consistent with gravity-dependent lung deformation, which produces increased ventilation, reduced alveolar size (i.e., higher surface-to-volume ratios), higher tissue densities, and increased perfusion in the dependent portions of the lungs. Thus, these results suggest that dissolved HP (129)Xe imaging reports on pulmonary function at a fundamental level.





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Publication Info

Cleveland, Zackary I, Gary P Cofer, Gregory Metz, Denise Beaver, John Nouls, S Sivaram Kaushik, Monica Kraft, Jan Wolber, et al. (2010). Hyperpolarized Xe MR imaging of alveolar gas uptake in humans. PLoS One, 5(8). p. e12192. 10.1371/journal.pone.0012192 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4562.

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Holman Page McAdams

Professor of Radiology
  1. Digital Radiography.

    Current plans include projects related to evaluation of prototype systems for clinical chest imaging, including tomosynthesis and computer-aided analysis of digital chest radiographs.

    2. Functional Lung Imaging.

    Current plans include projects related to evaluation of hyperpolarized Xenon MR imaging of lung function.

    3. Interstitial Lung Disease.

Bastiaan Driehuys

Professor of Radiology

Our research focuses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research with hyperpolarized 129Xe gas. We are at at the forefront of developing this novel technology for imaging the lungs of patients with pulmonary disease. We currently have multiple, ongoing NIH and industry-sponsored studies invovling this technique. Hyperpolarization is a laser-based process that enhances the MRI signal of xenon gas by a factor of 100,000 to allow for high-resolution, non-invasive MRI of pulmonary function. In addition to our research program, this technology was recently FDA approved and efforts are underway to implement it clinically.

Current studies are applying 129Xe MRI for early diagnosis and monitoring of interstitial and pulmonary vascular diseases. Our group, which is comprised of MRI scientists and radiologists, works closely with colleagues in pulmonary medicine. Our laboratory provides research opportunities to Ph.D., Masters, and medical students as well as select undergraduate students. 

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