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NMR Biomed. 2019 May;32(5):e4068. doi: 10.1002/nbm.4068. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Single breath-hold measurement of pulmonary gas exchange and diffusion in humans with hyperpolarized 129 Xe MR.

Xie J1,2, Li H1,2, Zhang H1, Zhao X1,2, Shi L1,2, Zhang M1, Xiao S1,2, Deng H1,2, Wang K3, Yang H3, Sun X1,2, Wu G3, Ye C1,2, Zhou X1,2.

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State Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Atomic and Molecular Physics, National Center for Magnetic Resonance in Wuhan, Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Department of Radiology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.


Pulmonary diseases usually result in changes of the blood-gas exchange function in the early stages. Gas exchange across the respiratory membrane and gas diffusion in the alveoli can be quantified using hyperpolarized 129 Xe MR via chemical shift saturation recovery (CSSR) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), respectively. Generally, CSSR and DWI data have been collected in separate breaths in humans. Unfortunately, the lung inflation level cannot be the exactly same in different breaths, which causes fluctuations in blood-gas exchange and pulmonary microstructure. Here we combine CSSR and DWI obtained with compressed sensing, to evaluate the gas diffusion and exchange function within a single breath-hold in humans. A new parameter, namely the perfusion factor of the respiratory membrane (SVRd/g ), is proposed to evaluate the gas exchange function. Hyperpolarized 129 Xe MR data are compared with pulmonary function tests and computed tomography examinations in healthy young, age-matched control, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease human cohorts. SVRd/g decreases as the ventilation impairment and emphysema index increase. Our results indicate that the proposed method has the potential to detect the extent of lung parenchyma destruction caused by age and pulmonary diseases, and it would be useful in the early diagnosis of pulmonary diseases in clinical practice.


COPD; compressed sensing; gas exchange; hyperpolarized 129Xe; lung; pulmonary microstructure


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