Effects of diffusion time on short-range hyperpolarized 3He diffusivity measurements in emphysema

David S. Gierada, Jason C. Woods, Andrew J. Bierhals, Seth T. Bartel, Jon H. Ritter, Cliff K. Choong, Nitin A. Das, Cheng Hong, Thomas K. Pilgram, Yulin V. Chang, Richard E. Jacob, James C. Hogg, Richard J. Battafarano, Joel D. Cooper, Bryan F. Meyers, G. Alexander Patterson, Dmitriy A. Yablonskiy, Mark S. Conradi

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Purpose: To characterize the effect of diffusion time on short-range hyperpolarized 3He magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diffusion measurements across a wide range of emphysema severity. Materials and Methods: 3He diffusion MRI was performed on 19 lungs or lobes resected from 18 subjects with varying degrees of emphysema using three diffusion times (1.6 msec, 5 msec, and 10 msec) at constant b value. Emphysema severity was quantified as the mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and as the percentage of pixels with ADC higher than multiple thresholds from 0.30-0.55 cm2/sec (ADC index). Quantitative histology (mean linear intercept) was obtained in 10 of the lung specimens from 10 of the subjects. Results: The mean ADCs with diffusion times of 1.6, 5.0, and 10.0 msec were 0.46, 0.40, and 0.37 cm2/sec, respectively (P < 0.0001, analysis of variance [ANOVA]). There was no relationship between the ADC magnitude and the effect of diffusion time on ADC values. The mean linear intercept correlated with ADC (r = 0.91-0.94, P < 0.001) and ADC index (r = 0.78-0.92, P < 0.01) at all diffusion times. Conclusion: Decreases in ADC with longer diffusion time were unrelated to emphysema severity. The strong correlations between the ADC at all diffusion times tested and quantitative histology demonstrate that ADC is a robust measure of emphysema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Diffusivity
  • Emphysema
  • Helium-3


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