Hyperpolarized 3He magnetic resonance imaging of ventilation defects in healthy elderly volunteers: Initial findings at 3.0 Tesla
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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Hyperpolarized (3)He magnetic resonance imaging ventilation defects have been observed in subjects with respiratory disorders. We quantified (3)He ventilation defects in elderly and middle-aged subjects who had no history of smoking, respiratory, or cardiovascular disorders.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Hyperpolarized (3)He magnetic resonance imaging ventilation defect volume (VDV) and ventilation defect score (VDS) were assessed in eight elderly healthy volunteers (mean 67+/-6 years) scanned twice within 7+/-2 minutes and again 7+/-2 days later. A younger cohort of 24 subjects (mean 44+/-10 years) was also scanned for direct comparison. Four observers blinded to scan timepoint and subject identity scored VDS and manually segmented VDV in all center coronal slices.
RESULTS: Center coronal slice ventilation defects were observed in six of eight elderly subjects (ages 63-74 years, 5 males) in all scans acquired and in no middle-aged subjects. At the scan timepoint, mean VDS was 2.7 (mean VDV 52+/-34 cm(3)), whereas for same-day rescan, mean VDS was 2.5 (mean VDV 53+/-35 cm(3)) and at 7-day rescan, mean VDS was 3.6 (mean VDV 48+/-39 cm(3)). Interscan coefficients of variation (COV) for mean VDV was 1.8% (same-day rescan) and 5.3% (7-day rescan) and interobserver COV ranged from 10-12%.
CONCLUSION: Elderly subjects have ventilation defects that are reproducible in same-day scanning and 7-day scanning visits. The observation of reproducible pulmonary ventilation defects in otherwise healthy elderly volunteers suggests caution must be used in interpreting results from (3)He studies of elderly subjects.
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