Helium MR Imaging

  • Edwin J. R. van Beek
  • Andrew Swift
  • Jim M. Wild
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Conventional proton MR images of the lungs are hampered by the low proton density in the lungs and by artifacts caused by inhomogeneous static fields within the thorax. Therefore, the lung has traditionally been considered a black hole in terms of MR imaging. In recent years, the introduction of hyperpolarized noble gases, such as helium-3 (3-He) and xenon-129 (129-Xe), has shown promise for functional imaging of the pulmonary air spaces. These isotopes have a nuclear spin of 1/2 and are thus sensitive to nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. In the presence of a strong magnetic field (B0) these spins in a given atom can exist in one of either two ground states aligned either parallel to or anti-parallel to B0. Conventional proton MRI utilizes the fact that in thermal equilibrium a slightly larger proportion of the spins adopt the lower energy ground state (parallel to B0) and this population can be subsequently excited into the higher state by radio frequency excitation.


Magn Reson Image High Resolution Compute Tomography Bronchiolitis Obliterans Lung Volume Reduction Surgery Ventilation Defect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin J. R. van Beek
    • 1
  • Andrew Swift
    • 1
  • Jim M. Wild
    • 1
  1. 1.Academic Unit of Radiology, Floor CRoyal Hallamshire HospitalSheffieldUK

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