MRI of the lungs using hyperpolarized noble gases.
The nuclear spin polarization of the noble gas isotopes (3)He and (129)Xe can be increased using optical pumping methods by four to five orders of magnitude. This extraordinary gain in polarization translates directly into a gain in signal strength for MRI. The new technology of hyperpolarized (HP) gas MRI holds enormous potential for enhancing sensitivity and contrast in pulmonary imaging. This review outlines the physics underlying the optical pumping process, imaging strategies coping with the nonequilibrium polarization, and effects of the alveolar microstructure on relaxation and diffusion of the noble gases. It presents recent progress in HP gas MRI and applications ranging from MR microscopy of airspaces to imaging pulmonary function in patients and suggests potential directions for future developments.
Möller, HE; Chen, XJ; Saam, B; Hagspiel, KD; Johnson, GA; Altes, TA; de Lange, EE; Kauczor, H-U
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)