Isabel Dregely1, John P. Mugler III2, Iulian Constantin Ruset3, Talissa A. Altes2, Jamie F. Mata2, G. Wilson Miller2, Jeffrey Ketel3, Steve Ketel3, Jan Distelbrinck3, F. William Hersman1,3, Kai Ruppert2
1Physics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA; 2Radiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA; 3Xemed LLC, Durham, NH, USA
The purpose of this study was to develop and test a method, Multiple exchange time Xenon polarization Transfer Contrast (MXTC) MRI, to non-invasively assess lung microstructure. The dynamic encoding of the xenon gas-exchange contrast permits two parameters to be derived regionally which are related to gas-exchange functionality by characterizing the tissue to alveolar-volume ratio and the alveolar wall thickness. By quantifying simultaneously two lung function parameters, MXTC provides a more comprehensive picture of lung microstructure then existing lung imaging techniques and could become an important non-invasive and quantitative tool to characterize pulmonary disease phenotypes.