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Purpose: To measure regional specific ventilation with free-breathing hydrogen 1 (1H) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging without exogenous contrast material and to investigate correlations with hyperpolarized helium 3 (3He) MR imaging and pulmonary function test measurements in healthy volunteers and patients with asthma.
Materials and Methods: Subjects underwent free-breathing 1H and static breath-hold hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging as well as spirometry and plethysmography; participants were consecutively recruited between January and June 2017. Free-breathing 1H MR imaging was performed with an optimized balanced steady-state free-precession sequence; images were retrospectively grouped into tidal inspiration or tidal expiration volumes with exponentially weighted phase interpolation. MR imaging volumes were coregistered by using optical flow deformable registration to generate 1H MR imaging-derived specific ventilation maps. Hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging- and 1H MR imaging-derived specific ventilation maps were coregistered to quantify regional specific ventilation within hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging ventilation masks. Differences between groups were determined with the Mann-Whitney test and relationships were determined with Spearman (ρ) correlation coefficients. Statistical analyses were performed with software.
Results: Thirty subjects (median age: 50 years; interquartile range [IQR]: 30 years), including 23 with asthma and seven healthy volunteers, were evaluated. Both 1H MR imaging-derived specific ventilation and hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging-derived ventilation percentage were significantly greater in healthy volunteers than in patients with asthma (specific ventilation: 0.14 [IQR: 0.05] vs 0.08 [IQR: 0.06], respectively, P < .0001; ventilation percentage: 99% [IQR: 1%] vs 94% [IQR: 5%], P < .0001). For all subjects, 1H MR imaging-derived specific ventilation correlated with plethysmography-derived specific ventilation (ρ = 0.54, P = .002) and hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging-derived ventilation percentage (ρ = 0.67, P < .0001) as well as with forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) (ρ = 0.65, P = .0001), ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity (ρ = 0.75, P < .0001), ratio of residual volume to total lung capacity (ρ = -0.68, P < .0001), and airway resistance (ρ = -0.51, P = .004). 1H MR imaging-derived specific ventilation was significantly greater in the gravitational-dependent versus nondependent lung in healthy subjects (P = .02) but not in patients with asthma (P = .1). In patients with asthma, coregistered 1H MR imaging specific ventilation and hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging maps showed that specific ventilation was diminished in corresponding 3He MR imaging ventilation defects (0.05 ± 0.04) compared with well-ventilated regions (0.09 ± 0.05) (P < .0001).
Conclusion: 1H MR imaging-derived specific ventilation correlated with plethysmography-derived specific ventilation and ventilation defects seen by using hyperpolarized 3He MR imaging. © RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article.
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