Navigator-triggered oxygen-enhanced MRI with simultaneous cardiac and respiratory synchronization for the assessment of interstitial lung disease

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2007 Dec;26(6):1523-9. doi: 10.1002/jmri.21043.


Purpose: To evaluate an optimized method for oxygen-enhanced MRI of the lung, using simultaneous electrocardiograph (ECG) and navigator triggering. To correlate oxygen-enhanced MRI with lung function tests assessing alveolar-capillary gas exchange.

Materials and methods: A total of 12 healthy volunteers (aged 20-32 years) and 10 patients (aged 37-87 years) with interstitial lung diseases (ILD) underwent oxygen-enhanced MRI and pulmonary functional tests (PFTs) assessing alveolar-capillary gas exchange. The paradigm room-air-oxygen-room-air was acquired with a nonselective inversion-recovery half-Fourier single-shot turbo spin-echo sequence (inversion time = 1200 msec; acquisition time = 134.5 msec; slice thickness = 20 mm; matrix size = 128 x 128), using simultaneous double triggering (navigator plus ECG trigger). Cross-correlation was performed in regions of interest (ROIs) encompassing both lungs. The number of oxygen-activated pixels over the total number of pixels in the ROIs (OAP%) of volunteers and patients was compared. OAP%s were correlated with PFTs.

Results: The mean OAP% of patients was significantly lower than that of volunteers (36.7 vs. 81.7, P = 0.001). OAP% correlated with the transfer lung factor for carbon monoxide (Tlco) (r = 0.64; P = 0.002), the transfer coefficient (Kco) (r = 0.75; P = 0.001), the arterial partial pressure (r = 0.77; P < 0.001), and the saturation (r = 0.70; P < 0.001) of oxygen.

Conclusion: Navigator-triggered oxygen-enhanced MRI of the lung may have a potential role in the quantitative assessment of lung function in ILD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electrocardiography
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Mechanics
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Oxygen