Mechanical ventilation for imaging the small animal lung.
This review emphasizes some of the challenges and benefits of in vivo imaging of the small animal lung. Because mechanical ventilation plays a key role in high-quality, high-resolution imaging of the small animal lung, the article focuses particularly on the problems of ventilation support, control of breathing motion and lung volume, and imaging during different phases of the breathing cycle. Solutions for these problems are discussed primarily in relation to magnetic resonance imaging, both conventional proton imaging and the newer, hyperpolarized helium imaging of pulmonary airways. Examples of applications of these imaging solutions to normal and diseased lung are illustrated in the rat and guinea pig. Although difficult to perform, pulmonary imaging in the small animal can be a valuable source of information not only for the normal lung, but also for the lung challenged by disease.
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