The role of hyperpolarized 129xenon in MR imaging of pulmonary function.
In the last two decades, functional imaging of the lungs using hyperpolarized noble gases has entered the clinical stage. Both helium (3He) and xenon (129Xe) gas have been thoroughly investigated for their ability to assess both the global and regional patterns of lung ventilation. With advances in polarizer technology and the current transition towards the widely available 129Xe gas, this method is ready for translation to the clinic. Currently, hyperpolarized (HP) noble gas lung MRI is limited to selected academic institutions; yet, the promising results from initial clinical trials have drawn the attention of the pulmonary medicine community. HP 129Xe MRI provides not only 3-dimensional ventilation imaging, but also unique capabilities for probing regional lung physiology. In this review article, we aim to (1) provide a brief overview of current ventilation MR imaging techniques, (2) emphasize the role of HP 129Xe MRI within the array of different imaging strategies, (3) discuss the unique imaging possibilities with HP 129Xe MRI, and (4) propose clinical applications.
Ebner, L; Kammerman, J; Driehuys, B; Schiebler, ML; Cadman, RV; Fain, SB
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