Quantitative measurement of lung microstructure is of great significance in assessment of pulmonary disease, particularly in the earliest stages. The technique for MRI-based 3He lung morphometry was previously developed and validated for human lungs, and was recently extended to ex vivo mouse lungs. The technique yields accurate, quantitative information about the microstructure and geometry of acinar airways. In this study, the 3He lung morphometry technique is successfully implemented for in vivo studies of mice. Results indicate excellent agreement between in vivo morphometry via 3He MRI and microscopic morphometry after sacrifice. This opens up new avenues for application of the technique as a precise, noninvasive, in vivo biomarker of changes in lung microstructure, within various mouse models of lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-626
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • alveolar size
  • diffusion
  • lung morphometry
  • mouse


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