Hyperpolarized 3helium magnetic resonance ventilation imaging of the lung in cystic fibrosis: comparison with high resolution CT and spirometry

Eur Radiol. 2006 Nov;16(11):2483-90. doi: 10.1007/s00330-006-0311-5. Epub 2006 Jul 27.


The purpose of this study was to compare hyperpolarized 3helium magnetic resonance imaging (3He MRI) of the lungs in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and spirometry. Eight patients with stable CF prospectively underwent 3He MRI, HRCT, and spirometry within 1 week. Three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo sequence was used during an 18-s breath-hold following inhalation of hyperpolarized 3He. Each lung was divided into six zones; 3He MRI was scored as percentage ventilation per lung zone. HRCT was scored using a modified Bhalla scoring system. Univariate (Spearman rank) and multivariate correlations were performed between 3He MRI, HRCT, and spirometry. Results are expressed as mean+/-SD (range). Spirometry is expressed as percent predicted. There were four men and four women, mean age = 31.9+/-9 (20-46). Mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV)1 = 52%+/-29 (27-93). Mean 3He MRI score = 74%+/-25 (55-100). Mean HRCT score = 48.8+/-24 (13.5-83). The correlation between 3He MRI and HRCT was strong (R = +/-0.89, p < 0.001). Bronchiectasis was the only independent predictor of 3He MRI; 3He MRI correlated better with FEV1 and forced vital capacity (FVC) (R = 0.86 and 0.93, p < 0.01, respectively) than HRCT (R = +/-0.72 and +/-0.81, p < 0.05, respectively). This study showed that 3He MRI correlates strongly with structural HRCT abnormalities and is a stronger correlate of spirometry than HRCT in CF.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Helium*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Isotopes
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Research Design
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spirometry*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Vital Capacity


  • Isotopes
  • Helium