Yanping Sun1, James P. Butler2, Steve Loring3, Peter Lindholm4, Jessica Gereige5, Ferrigno Massimo6, Mitchell S. Albert1
1Radiology, University of Masschusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA; 2Physiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 3Anesthesia, Beth Israel and Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA; 4Physiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 5Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 6Anesthesiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Competitive breath-hold divers are capable of breathing maneuvers that result in extremely large or small lung volumes and transpulmonary presussures, such as glossopharyngeal insufflation (GI, also known as lung packing) and exsufflation (GE, also know as reverse lung packing). We performed hyperpolarized 3He MRI to study pulmonary ventilation of elite breath-hold divers performing these breathing maneuvers. At TLC+GI, there was an overall distension of the lungs caused by hyperinflation and a striking appearance of signal hyperintensity of the airways. Dynamic HP 3He MRI during inspiration after GE showed dramatically fewer visible airway generations than inspiration from FRC, suggesting airway closure.