Kai Ruppert1, Talissa A. Altes1, Jaime F. Mata1, Iulian C. Ruset2, 3, F. William Hersman2, 3, John P. Mugler, III1
1University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States; 2Xemed, LLC, Durham, NH, United States; 3University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, United States
Several lung diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are characterized by a strong inflammatory component. The purpose of our studies was to investigate whether Xe129 "Chemical Shift Saturation Recovery" (CSSR) spectroscopy can detect alveolar wall thickening in subjects with heavy smoking exposure and asthma. In healthy subjects the alveolar walls were about 6-8 micrometers thick. Subjects with lung disease or heavy exposure to cigarette smoke tended to have an elevated septal wall thickness relative to the healthy subjects possibly due to the presence of inflammatory processes.