Wei Wang1,2, Nguyet M. Nguyen3, Dmitriy A. Yablonskiy1,2, Alexander L. Sukstanskii2, Emir Osmanagic2, Richard A. Pierce3, Mark S. Conradi1,2, Jason C. Woods1,2
1Physics, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, United States; 2Radiology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, United States; 3Internal Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, United States
Quantitative measurement of lung microstructure is of great significance in assessment of pulmonary disease, particularly in the earliest stages. Our MRI-based 3He lung morphometry technique was previously developed and validated for human lungs, and was recently extended to ex-vivo mouse lungs. The technique yields accurate, quantitative information about the microstructure and geometry of acinar airways. In this study the 3He lung morphometry technique is successfully implemented for in-vivo studies of mice. Results indicate excellent agreement between in-vivo morphometry via 3He MRI and microscopic morphometry after sacrifice. This opens up new avenues for application of the technique as a precise, noninvasive, in-vivo biomarker of changes in lung microstructure, within various mouse models of lung disease.