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Respir Res. 2017 May 17;18(1):96. doi: 10.1186/s12931-017-0578-x.

Lung function imaging methods in Cystic Fibrosis pulmonary disease.

Author information

Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, 3800, Australia.
Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical Faculty, University of Rzeszow, 35-959, Rzeszow, Poland.
Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, 3800, Australia.
Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Rzeszow, 35-959, Rzeszow, Poland.
Department of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, 3800, Australia.
Physiology Service, Allergy Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, 3800, Australia.


Monitoring of pulmonary physiology is fundamental to the clinical management of patients with Cystic Fibrosis. The current standard clinical practise uses spirometry to assess lung function which delivers a clinically relevant functional readout of total lung function, however does not supply any visible or localised information. High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) is a well-established current 'gold standard' method for monitoring lung anatomical changes in Cystic Fibrosis patients. HRCT provides excellent morphological information, however, the X-ray radiation dose can become significant if multiple scans are required to monitor chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. X-ray phase-contrast imaging is another emerging X-ray based methodology for Cystic Fibrosis lung assessment which provides dynamic morphological and functional information, albeit with even higher X-ray doses than HRCT. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-ionising radiation imaging method that is garnering growing interest among researchers and clinicians working with Cystic Fibrosis patients. Recent advances in MRI have opened up the possibilities to observe lung function in real time to potentially allow sensitive and accurate assessment of disease progression. The use of hyperpolarized gas or non-contrast enhanced MRI can be tailored to clinical needs. While MRI offers significant promise it still suffers from poor spatial resolution and the development of an objective scoring system especially for ventilation assessment.


Cystic fibrosis; Hyperpolarized MRI; Lung function; Phase contrast

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