Sensitivity and resolution in 3D NMR microscopy of the lung with hyperpolarized noble gases.
Three-dimensional magnetic resonance images of the guinea pig lung were acquired in vivo using hyperpolarized (HP) noble gases and radial projection encoding (PE). Results obtained with 3He (voxel size 17 microl) demonstrated high image quality showing airway structure down to the 5th or 6th generations. Signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) of 129Xe images (voxel size 40 microl) were lower by about 1 order of magnitude as a consequence of the smaller gyromagnetic ratio, a more rapid relaxation in the gas reservoir, and lower polarization and isotope abundance. Comparison between experimentally obtained SNRs and results from calculations based on a model that accounts for the three-dimensional PE acquisition scheme and the non-equilibrium situation in HP gas imaging yielded excellent agreement for small flip angles. A theoretical examination of the potential resolution in HP gas MR microscopy of the lungs suggests that in vivo visualization of alveolar clusters distal to respiratory bronchioles may be possible.
Möller, HE; Chen, XJ; Chawla, MS; Cofer, GP; Driehuys, B; Hedlund, LW; Suddarth, SA; Johnson, GA
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)