Multiparametric oxygen-enhanced functional lung imaging in 3D

Abstract

To develope a self-gated free-breathing 3D sequence allowing for simultaneous T 1-weighted imaging and quantitative $$T_{2}^{ *}$$ T 2 ∗ mapping in different breathing phases in order to assess the feasibility of oxygen-enhanced 3D functional lung imaging. A 3D sequence with ultrashort echo times and interleaved double readouts was implemented for oxygen-enhanced lung imaging at 1.5 T. Six healthy volunteers were examined while breathing room air as well as 100 % oxygen. Images from expiratory and inspiratory breathing phases were reconstructed and compared for the two breathing gases. The average $$T_{2}^{*}$$ T 2 ∗ value measured for room air was 2.10 ms, with a 95 % confidence interval (CI) of 1.95–2.25 ms, and the average for pure oxygen was 1.89 ms, with a 95 % CI of 1.76–2.01 ms, resulting in a difference of 10.1 % (95 % CI 8.9–11.3 %). An 11.2 % increase in signal intensity (95 % CI 10.4–12.1 %) in the T 1-weighted images was detected when subjects were breathing pure oxygen compared to room air. Furthermore, a significant change in signal intensity (26.5 %, 95 % CI 18.8–34.3 %) from expiration to inspiration was observed. This study demonstrated the feasibility of simultaneous $$T_{2}^{*}$$ T 2 ∗ mapping and T 1-weighted 3D imaging of the lung. This method has the potential to provide information about ventilation, oxygen transfer, and lung expansion within one experiment. Future studies are needed to investigate the clinical applicability and diagnostic value of this approach in various pulmonary diseases.

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