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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Dec;24(6):1277-83.

Assessment of lung development using hyperpolarized helium-3 diffusion MR imaging.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. Altes@email.CHOP.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine whether hyperpolarized helium-3 (HHe) diffusion MR can detect the expected enlargement of alveoli that occurs with lung growth during childhood.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 29 normal subjects aged four to 30 years underwent HHe diffusion MR imaging with the b-value pair 0, 1.6 second/cm(2). A second acquisition during a separate breathhold was performed using the b-value pair 0, 4 second/cm(2) to evaluate the dependence on b-value. The mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and lung volume for each acquisition and each subject was determined.

RESULTS:

Subjects as young as four years of age were able to cooperate with the imaging procedure. The mean ADC increased with increasing subject age (r = 0.8; P < 0.001), with a 55% increase in mean ADC from the youngest to oldest subject. Lung volumes measured on MR were highly repeatable for the two HHe MR acquisitions (r = 0.980, P < 0.001). The mean ADC values measured with the two different b-value pairs were highly correlated (r = 0.975; P < 0.001), but the higher b-value pair resulted in slightly lower mean ADCs (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

HHe diffusion MR appears to detect the expected increase in alveolar size during childhood, and thus HHe MR may be a noninvasive method to assess development of the lung microstructure.

PMID:
17096396
DOI:
10.1002/jmri.20723
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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