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San Diego, CA, United States

Sa R.C.,Pulmonary Imaging Laboratory | Cronin M.V.,University of California at San Diego | Henderson A.C.,Pulmonary Imaging Laboratory | Holverda S.,Pulmonary Imaging Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Applied Physiology

Specific ventilation (SV) is the ratio of fresh gas entering a lung region divided by its end-expiratory volume. To quantify the vertical (gravitationally dependent) gradient of SV in eight healthy supine subjects, we implemented a novel proton magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method. Oxygen is used as a contrast agent, which in solution changes the longitudinal relaxation time (T1) in lung tissue. Thus alterations in the MR signal resulting from the regional rise in O2 concentration following a sudden change in inspired O 2 reflect SV-lung units with higher SV reach a new equilibrium faster than those with lower SV. We acquired T1-weighted inversion recovery images of a sagittal slice of the supine right lung with a 1.5-T MRI system. Images were voluntarily respiratory gated at functional residual capacity; 20 images were acquired with the subject breathing air and 20 breathing 100% O2, and this cycle was repeated five times. Expired tidal volume was measured simultaneously. The SV maps presented an average spatial fractal dimension of 1.13 ± 0.03. There was a vertical gradient in SV of 0.029 ± 0.012 cm-1, with SV being highest in the dependent lung. Dividing the lung vertically into thirds showed a statistically significant difference in SV, with SV of 0.42 ± 0.14 (mean ± SD), 0.29 ± 0.10, and 0.24 ± 0.08 in the dependent, intermediate, and nondependent regions, respectively (all differences, P < 0.05). This vertical gradient in SV is consistent with the known gravitationally induced deformation of the lung resulting in greater lung expansion in the dependent lung with inspiration. This SV imaging technique can be used to quantify regional SV in the lung with proton MRI. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society. Source

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