Magnetic resonance imaging of pulmonary parenchymal disease using a modified breath-hold 3D gradient-echo technique: initial observations

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2002 Jan;15(1):31-8. doi: 10.1002/jmri.10033.


Purpose: To determine the potential of a modified breath-hold 3D gradient-echo technique for visualizing pulmonary parenchymal diseases.

Materials and methods: Twenty-one magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the lungs were performed in 20 patients (15 male and 5 female; age range, 7.7-86.1 years) with pulmonary diseases comprising non-small-cell, small-cell, and bronchioalveolar carcinomas, endobronchial mucoepidermoid carcinoma, metastases, pneumonia, Wegener's granulomatosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arterio-venous malformation, and bronchogenic cyst. Confirmation of diagnoses was obtained via histopathology (14 patients) and follow-up (6 patients). MRI studies were performed at 1.5 T before and after administration of gadolinium using a modified volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) sequence. All images were evaluated prospectively regarding lesion detection and characterization. MR findings were correlated with final diagnoses. Retrospective grading (scores, 1-4) was performed for general image quality (rated "poor" to "excellent"); presence of artifacts ("negligible" to "severe"); and imaging quality of pulmonary lesions (conspicuity and contrast on pre- and postgadolinium images).

Results: Twenty-three solid pulmonary lesions, 25 infiltrates and segmental atelectases, and 1 cyst were detected and prospectively correctly diagnosed. Sizes ranged from 0.3-10 cm. The mean scores for image quality and presence of artifacts were 3.3 (SD, 0.7) and 1.8 (SD, 0.7), respectively. Conspicuity and contrast of pulmonary lesions received mean scores between 3.0 and 3.8 (SD, 0.4-0.7).

Conclusion: This MRI technique allows imaging of a wide spectrum of solid and nonsolid pulmonary parenchymal diseases with reproducible high image quality, effective suppression of artifacts, high resolution, and visualization of gadolinium enhancement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Contrast Media
  • gadodiamide
  • Gadolinium DTPA