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PURPOSE: To derive lobar ventilation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using a rapid time-series hyperpolarized xenon-129 (HPX) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique and compare this to ventilation/perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (V/Q-SPECT), correlating the results with high-resolution computed tomography (CT) and pulmonary function tests (PFTs). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twelve COPD subjects (GOLD stages I-IV) participated in this study and underwent HPX-MRI, V/Q-SPECT/CT, high-resolution CT, and PFTs. HPX-MRI was performed using a novel time-series spiral k-space sampling approach. Relative percentage ventilations were calculated for individual lobe for comparison to the relative SPECT lobar ventilation and perfusion. The absolute HPX-MRI percentage ventilation in each lobe was compared to the absolute CT percentage emphysema score calculated using a signal threshold method. Pearson's correlation and linear regression tests were performed to compare each imaging modality. RESULTS: Strong correlations were found between the relative lobar percentage ventilation with HPX-MRI and percentage ventilation SPECT (r = 0.644; p < 0.001) and percentage perfusion SPECT (r = 0.767; p < 0.001). The absolute CT percentage emphysema and HPX percentage ventilation correlation was also statistically significant (r = 0.695, p < 0.001). The whole lung HPX percentage ventilation correlated with the PFT measurements (FEV1 with r = - 0.886, p < 0.001*, and FEV1/FVC with r = - 0.861, p < 0.001*) better than the whole lung CT percentage emphysema score (FEV1 with r = - 0.635, p = 0.027; and FEV1/FVC with r = - 0.652, p = 0.021). CONCLUSION: Lobar ventilation with HPX-MRI showed a strong correlation with lobar ventilation and perfusion measurements derived from SPECT/CT, and is better than the emphysema score obtained with high-resolution CT. KEY POINTS: • The ventilation hyperpolarized xenon-129 MRI correlates well with ventilation and perfusion with SPECT/CT with the advantage of higher temporal and spatial resolution. • The hyperpolarized xenon-129 MRI correlates with the PFT measurements better than the high-resolution CT with the advantage of avoiding the use of ionizing radiation.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Radiol

Publication Date



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Emphysema, Lung, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)