The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of dynamic oxygen-enhanced MRI in a clinical setting. We hypothesized that dynamic oxygen enhancement can reflect the regional diffusing capacity of the lung. Ten patients with pulmonary emphysema and seven healthy volunteers were examined with a respiratory-synchronized inversion recovery single-shot turbo spin-echo sequence (TR = 3200-5000 ms, TE = 16 ms, TI = 720 ms, ETS = 4 ms) following 100% oxygen inhalation, using a 1.5 T whole-body scanner. Maximum mean relative enhancement ratios calculated by averaging six defined regions of interest (ROIs) in both lungs were statistically compared between healthy volunteers and patients, and were correlated with diffusing lung capacity (%DL(CO)). In patients with pulmonary emphysema, maximum mean relative enhancement ratios were significantly decreased compared to those in healthy volunteers (P = 0.0008). Maximum mean relative enhancement ratio had excellent correlation with % DL(C0) (r(2) = 0.83). Dynamic oxygen-enhanced MRI may reflect the diffusing capacity of the lung; therefore, imaging of oxygen enhancement with MRI may provide maps of the diffusing capacity.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.