Hyperpolarized 13C MRI of the pulmonary vasculature and parenchyma



The study of lung perfusion in normal and diseased subjects is of great interest to physiologists and physicians. In this work we demonstrate the application of a liquid-phase hyperpolarized (HP) carbon-13 (13C) tracer to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pulmonary vasculature and pulmonary perfusion in a porcine model. Our results show that high spatial and temporal resolution images of pulmonary perfusion can be obtained with this contrast technique. Traditionally, pulmonary perfusion measurement techniques have been challenging because of insufficient signal for quantitative functional assessments. The use of polarized 13C in MRI overcomes this limitation and may lead to a viable clinical method for studying the pulmonary vasculature and perfusion. Magn Reson Med 57:459–463, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.