Purpose: To assess the feasibility of oxygen-enhanced MRI of the lung at 3 Tesla and to compare signal characteristics with 1.5 Tesla.
Materials and methods: 13 volunteers underwent oxygen-enhanced lung MRI at 1.5 and 3 T with a T 1-weighted single-slice non-selective inversion-recovery single-shot half-Fourier fast-spin-echo sequence with simultaneous respiratory and cardiac triggering in coronal orientation. 40 measurements were acquired during room air breathing and subsequently during oxygen breathing (15 L/min, close-fitting face-mask). The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the lung tissue was determined with a difference image method. The image quality of all acquisitions was visually assessed. The mean values of the oxygen-induced relative signal enhancement and its regional coefficient of variation were calculated and the signal enhancement was displayed as color-coded parameter maps. Oxygen-enhancement maps were visually assessed with respect to the distribution and heterogeneity of the oxygen-related signal enhancement at both field strengths.
Results: The mean relative signal enhancement due to oxygen breathing was 13 % (± 5.6 %) at 1.5 T and of 9.0 % (± 8.0 %) at 3 T. The regional coefficient of variation was significantly higher at 3 T. Visual and quantitative assessment of the enhancement maps showed considerably less homogeneous distribution of the signal enhancement at 3 T. The SNR was not significantly different but showed a trend to slightly higher values (increase of about 10 %) at 3 T.
Conclusion: Oxygen-enhanced pulmonary MRI is feasible at 3 Tesla. However, signal enhancement is currently more heterogeneous and slightly lower at 3 T.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.