Quantitative analysis of regional airways obstruction using dynamic hyperpolarized 3He MRI-preliminary results in children with cystic fibrosis

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2005 Sep;22(3):420-6. doi: 10.1002/jmri.20402.


Purpose: To investigate regional airways obstruction in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) with quantitative analysis of dynamic hyperpolarized (HP) (3)He MRI.

Materials and methods: Dynamic radial projection MRI of HP (3)He gas was used to study respiratory dynamics in a group of eight children with CF. Signal kinetics in a total of seven regions of interest (ROIs; three in each lung, and one in the trachea) were compared with the results of spirometric pulmonary function tests (PFTs). The tracheal signal intensity was used as a form of "input function" to normalize for input flow effects.

Results: A pattern of low flow rate in the upper lobes was observed. When the flow measurements from the peripheral ROIs were averaged to obtain an index of flow in the peripheral lung, a good correlation was found (P = 3.74 x 10(-5)) with the forced expired volume in one second (FEV1).

Conclusion: These results suggest that a quantitative measurement of localized airways obstruction in the early stages of CF may be obtained from dynamic (3)He MRI by using the slope of the signal rise as a measure of air flow into the peripheral lung. This study also demonstrates that children can cooperate well with the (3)He MRI technique.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Airway Obstruction / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Spirometry
  • Tritium


  • Tritium