• hyperpolarized 129Xe;
  • lung MRI;
  • pulmonary function;
  • balanced steady-state free precession;
  • compressed sensing;
  • spontaneous breathing;
  • respiratory gating;
  • emphysema

In the present study, a balanced steady-state free precession pulse sequence combined with compressed sensing was applied to hyperpolarized 129Xe lung imaging in spontaneously breathing mice. With the aid of fast imaging techniques, the temporal resolution was markedly improved in the resulting images. Using these protocols and respiratory gating, 129Xe lung images in end-inspiratory and end-expiratory phases were obtained successfully. The application of these techniques for pulmonary functional imaging made it possible to simultaneously evaluate regional ventilation and gas exchange in the same animal. A comparative study between healthy and elastase-induced mouse models of emphysema showed abnormal ventilation as well as gas exchange in elastase-treated mice. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.