Purpose: To assess the influence of ultrashort TE (UTE) intervals on pulmonary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with UTEs (UTE-MRI) for pulmonary functional loss assessment and clinical stage classification of smokers.
Materials and methods: A total 60 consecutive smokers (43 men and 17 women; mean age 70 years) with and without COPD underwent thin-section multidetector row computed tomography (MDCT), UTE-MRI, and pulmonary functional measurements. For each smoker, UTE-MRI was performed with three different UTE intervals (UTE-MRI A: 0.5 msec, UTE-MRI B: 1.0 msec, UTE-MRI C: 1.5 msec). By using the GOLD guidelines, the subjects were classified as: "smokers without COPD," "mild COPD," "moderate COPD," and "severe or very severe COPD." Then the mean T2* value from each UTE-MRI and CT-based functional lung volume (FLV) were correlated with pulmonary function test. Finally, Fisher's PLSD test was used to evaluate differences in each index among the four clinical stages.
Results: Each index correlated significantly with pulmonary function test results (P < 0.05). CT-based FLV and mean T2* values obtained from UTE-MRI A and B showed significant differences among all groups except between "smokers without COPD" and "mild COPD" groups (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: UTE-MRI has a potential for management of smokers and the UTE interval is suggested as an important parameter in this setting.
Keywords: COPD; CT; lung; magnetic resonance; pulmonary emphysema; ultrashort echo time.
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.