European Radiology

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 2483–2490 | Cite as

Hyperpolarized 3helium magnetic resonance ventilation imaging of the lung in cystic fibrosis: comparison with high resolution CT and spirometry

  • Colm J. McMahonEmail author
  • Jonathan D. Dodd
  • Catherine Hill
  • Neil Woodhouse
  • Jim M. Wild
  • Stan Fichele
  • Charles G. Gallagher
  • Stephen J. Skehan
  • Edwin J. R. van Beek
  • James B. Masterson


The purpose of this study was to compare hyperpolarized 3helium magnetic resonance imaging (3He MRI) of the lungs in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and spirometry. Eight patients with stable CF prospectively underwent 3He MRI, HRCT, and spirometry within 1 week. Three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo sequence was used during an 18-s breath-hold following inhalation of hyperpolarized 3He. Each lung was divided into six zones; 3He MRI was scored as percentage ventilation per lung zone. HRCT was scored using a modified Bhalla scoring system. Univariate (Spearman rank) and multivariate correlations were performed between 3He MRI, HRCT, and spirometry. Results are expressed as mean±SD (range). Spirometry is expressed as percent predicted. There were four men and four women, mean age=31.9±9 (20–46). Mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV)1=52%±29 (27–93). Mean 3He MRI score=74%±25 (55–100). Mean HRCT score=48.8±24 (13.5–83). The correlation between3He MRI and HRCT was strong (R=±0.89, p<0.001). Bronchiectasis was the only independent predictor of 3He MRI; 3He MRI correlated better with FEV1 and forced vital capacity (FVC) (R=0.86 and 0.93, p<0.01, respectively) than HRCT (R=±0.72 and ±0.81, p<0.05, respectively). This study showed that 3He MRI correlates strongly with structural HRCT abnormalities and is a stronger correlate of spirometry than HRCT in CF.


Cystic fibrosis Helium Lung Magnetic resonance (MR) Contrast enhancement  Nuclei other than H 



This study was funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust Fund of Ireland and the Academic Research Fund of the Department of Radiology, St. Vincent’s University Hospital. Technical development was funded in part by EPSRC, UK #GR/S81834/01(P) and European Framework V project Polarized Helium for Imaging the Lungs. We acknowledge GE Healthcare for loan of our polarizer and Spectra Gases for support with gas. We thank Sally Fleming and Sharon Rothwell for helping with patient care. We thank all patients for their participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colm J. McMahon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonathan D. Dodd
    • 1
  • Catherine Hill
    • 3
  • Neil Woodhouse
    • 3
  • Jim M. Wild
    • 3
  • Stan Fichele
    • 3
  • Charles G. Gallagher
    • 2
  • Stephen J. Skehan
    • 1
  • Edwin J. R. van Beek
    • 3
    • 4
  • James B. Masterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Department of National Referral Centre for Adult Cystic FibrosisSt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.The Unit of Academic Radiology, University of SheffieldRoyal Hallamshire HospitalSheffieldUK
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Carver College of MedicineUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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