MRI of helium-3 gas in healthy lungs: Posture related variations of alveolar size

S Fichele, N Woodhouse, AJ Swift, Z Said, MNJ Paley, L Kasuboski, GH Mills, EJR van Beek, JM Wild*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To probe the variation of alveolar size in healthy lung tissue as a function of posture using diffusion-weighted helium-3 hyperpolarized gas imaging.

Materials and Methods: Measurements of the helium-3 apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were made on six healthy subjects. These were used to show the variation of alveolar size between the lower-most dependent regions of the lung compared to the uppermost regions of the lung in four postures: supine, prone, left-lateral decubitus, and right-lateral decubitus.

Results: The distribution of acinar size in the lungs was found to be heterogeneous, and influenced by lung orientation. In nearly all postures, the ADC was significantly higher in the non-dependent uppermost regions of the lung compared to the dependent lowermost regions of the lung; the greatest variation was found in the left-lateral decubitus position. The difference in ADC between uppermost and lowermost regions was on average-0.012.cm(2)second(-1), which represents 20% of the average ADC value for the whole lung. A systematic decrease in ADC from the apex of the lung to the base was also found, which corresponds to an inherent gradient in alveolar size.

Conclusion: The posture dependent variations in ADC were attributed to compression of the parenchyma under its own weight and the mass of the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-335
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • hyperpolarized
  • ADC
  • MRI
  • lungs
  • helium-3
  • physiology
  • ACUTE RESPIRATORY-FAILURE
  • PULMONARY PERFUSION
  • HYPERPOLARIZED HE-3
  • DIFFUSION
  • POSITION
  • PRONE
  • GRADIENT
  • DISEASE
  • HUMANS
  • SUPINE

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