Measurements of regional alveolar oxygen pressure using hyperpolarized 3He MRI

Martin C. Fischer, Stephen Kadlecek, Jiangsheng Yu, Masaru Ishii, Kiarash Emami, Vahid Vahdat, David A. Lipson, Rahim R. Rizi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale and Objectives. The aim of this work is to review hyperpolarized (HP) helium-3 (3He) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to measure regional alveolar oxygen partial pressure (PAo2) and oxygen depletion rate (R) in the lung. We point out limitations of the methods and suggest improvements to increase their accuracy. Materials and Methods. PAO2 and R can be extracted from series of HP gas images acquired during breath hold by making use of the depolarizing effect of oxygen on HP gas. To separate oxygen-induced depolarization from other depolarizing effects, several techniques can be used. We review currently used techniques and point out their advantages and limitations. Results. We show that the precision of oxygen measurements depends on a variety of parameters and can vary within the measurement volume. Accuracy of the measurement also can be influenced by diffusion of oxygen and polarized 3He and generally is different for single-slice and multislice measurements. We present numerical simulations, phantom data, and in vivo data for illustration. Conclusion. HP 3He MRI is a noninvasive, nonionizing, and repeatable imaging method that allows for quantitative analysis of lung function. The current techniques for measuring PAO2 have the potential to deliver clinically relevant functional images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1439
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Alveolar oxygen pressure
  • Hyperpolarized gas magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Oxygen depletion rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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