Purpose: To characterize the effect of diffusion time on short-range hyperpolarized 3He magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diffusion measurements across a wide range of emphysema severity. Materials and Methods: 3He diffusion MRI was performed on 19 lungs or lobes resected from 18 subjects with varying degrees of emphysema using three diffusion times (1.6 msec, 5 msec, and 10 msec) at constant b value. Emphysema severity was quantified as the mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and as the percentage of pixels with ADC higher than multiple thresholds from 0.30-0.55 cm2/sec (ADC index). Quantitative histology (mean linear intercept) was obtained in 10 of the lung specimens from 10 of the subjects. Results: The mean ADCs with diffusion times of 1.6, 5.0, and 10.0 msec were 0.46, 0.40, and 0.37 cm2/sec, respectively (P < 0.0001, analysis of variance [ANOVA]). There was no relationship between the ADC magnitude and the effect of diffusion time on ADC values. The mean linear intercept correlated with ADC (r = 0.91-0.94, P < 0.001) and ADC index (r = 0.78-0.92, P < 0.01) at all diffusion times. Conclusion: Decreases in ADC with longer diffusion time were unrelated to emphysema severity. The strong correlations between the ADC at all diffusion times tested and quantitative histology demonstrate that ADC is a robust measure of emphysema.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging