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Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 May;27(4):549-56. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2008.08.010. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Comparison of magnetic resonance imaging of inhaled SF6 with respiratory gas analysis.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.


Magnetic resonance imaging of inhaled fluorinated inert gases ((19)F-MRI) such as sulfur hexafluoride (SF(6)) allows for analysis of ventilated air spaces. In this study, the possibility of using this technique to image lung function was assessed. For this, (19)F-MRI of inhaled SF(6) was compared with respiratory gas analysis, which is a global but reliable measure of alveolar gas fraction. Five anesthetized pigs underwent multiple-breath wash-in procedures with a gas mixture of 70% SF(6) and 30% oxygen. Two-dimensional (19)F-MRI and end-expiratory gas fraction analysis were performed after 4 to 24 inhaled breaths. Signal intensity of (19)F-MRI and end-expiratory SF(6) fraction were evaluated with respect to linear correlation and reproducibility. Time constants were estimated by both MRI and respiratory gas analysis data and compared for agreement. A good linear correlation between signal intensity and end-expiratory gas fraction was found (correlation coefficient 0.99+/-0.01). The data were reproducible (standard error of signal intensity 8% vs. that of gas fraction 5%) and the comparison of time constants yielded a sufficient agreement. According to the good linear correlation and the acceptable reproducibility, we suggest the (19)F-MRI to be a valuable tool for quantification of intrapulmonary SF(6) and hence lung function.

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