To examine the association of ventilation defects on 3He MRI with emphysema subtypes, participants (n=41) between 60 and 85 years of age with 10 or more packyears of smoking were studied. Ventilation defect percentage (VDP) was associated with percent emphysema (r =0.43; p=0.008) and, with borderline statistical significance, extent of visual emphysema (r=0.31; p=0.07). There was no relationship between VDP and extent of centrilobular (p=0.61) or panlobular (P=0.98) emphysema. VDP was associated with extent of paraseptal emphysema (PSE) (r=0.42; p=0.01). These findings suggest that small airways disease may be a component of PSE but not other subtypes of emphysema.