, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 321-325

Pulmonary hemorrhage: Imaging with a new magnetic resonance blood pool agent in conjunction with breathheld three-dimensional magnetic resonance angiography

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Purpose: To describe the three-dimensional magnetic resonance angiography (3D MRA) imaging appearance of the pulmonary arteries following administration of a superparamagnetic iron oxide blood pool agent to human volunteers, and to demonstrate in an animal model (pigs) how this technique can be used to detect pulmonary parenchymal hemorrhage.

Methods: Two volunteers were examined following the intravenous administration of a superparamagnetic iron oxide blood pool agent (NC100150 Injection, Nycomed Amersham Imaging, Wayne, PA, USA). T1-weighted 3D gradient recalled echo (GRE) image sets (TR/TE 5.1/1.4 msec, flip angle 30°) were acquired breathheld over 24 sec. To assess the detectability of pulmonary bleeding with intravascular MR contrast, pulmonary parenchymal injuries were created in two animals under general anesthesia, and fast T1-weighted 3D GRE image sets collected before and after the injury.

Results: Administration of the intravascular contrast in the two volunteers resulted in selective enhancement of the pulmonary vasculature permitting complete visualization and excellent delineation of central, segmental, and subsegmental arteries. Following iatrogenic injury in the two animals, pulmonary hemorrhage was readily detected on the 3D image sets.

Conclusion: The data presented illustrate that ultrafast 3D GRE MR imaging in conjunction with an intravenously administered intravascular blood pool agent can be used to perform high-quality pulmonary MRA as well as to detect pulmonary hemorrhage.