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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Sep 1;75(1):276-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.03.051. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Dynamic MRI of grid-tagged hyperpolarized helium-3 for the assessment of lung motion during breathing.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.



To develop a dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tagging technique using hyperpolarized helium-3 (HP He-3) to track lung motion.


An accelerated non-Cartesian k-space trajectory was used to gain acquisition speed, at the cost of introducing image artifacts, providing a viable strategy for obtaining whole-lung coverage with adequate temporal resolution. Multiple-slice two-dimensional dynamic images of the lung were obtained in three healthy subjects after inhaling He-3 gas polarized to 35%-40%. Displacement, strain, and ventilation maps were computed from the observed motion of the grid peaks.


Both temporal and spatial variations of pulmonary mechanics were observed in normal subjects, including shear motion between different lobes of the same lung.


These initial results suggest that dynamic imaging of grid-tagged hyperpolarized magnetization may potentially be a powerful tool for observing and quantifying pulmonary biomechanics on a regional basis and for assessing, validating, and improving lung deformable image registration algorithms.

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