Early stage radiation-induced lung injury detected using hyperpolarized (129) Xe Morphometry: Proof-of-concept demonstration in a rat model
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
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PURPOSE: Radiation-induced lung injury (RILI) is still the major dose-limiting toxicity related to lung cancer radiation therapy, and it is difficult to predict and detect patients who are at early risk of severe pneumonitis and fibrosis. The goal of this proof-of-concept preclinical demonstration was to investigate the potential of hyperpolarized (129) Xe diffusion-weighted MRI to detect the lung morphological changes associated with early stage RILI.
METHODS: Hyperpolarized (129) Xe MRI was performed using eight different diffusion sensitizations (0.0-115 s/cm(2) ) in a small group of control rats (n = 4) and rats 2 wk after radiation exposure (n = 5). The diffusion-weighted images were used to obtain morphological estimates of the pulmonary parenchyma including external radius (R), internal radius (r), alveolar sleeve depth (h), and mean airspace chord length (Lm ). The histological mean linear intercept (MLI) were obtained for five control and five irradiated animals.
RESULTS: Mean R, r, and Lm were both significantly different (P < 0.02) in the irradiated rats (74 ± 17 µm, 43 ± 12 µm, and 54 ± 17 µm, respectively) compared with the control rats (100 ± 12 µm, 67 ± 10 µm, and 79 ± 12 µm, respectively). Changes in measured Lm values were consistent with changes in MLI values observed by histology.
CONCLUSIONS: Hyperpolarized (129) Xe MRI provides a way to detect and measure regional microanatomical changes in lung parenchyma in a preclinical model of RILI. Magn Reson Med 75:2421-2431, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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