Direct Measurement of Lung Motion Using Hyperpolarized Helium-3 MR Tagging

Jing Cai, G. Wilson Miller, Talissa A. Altes, Paul W. Read, Stanley H. Benedict, Eduard E. de Lange, Gordon D. Cates, James R. Brookeman, John P. Mugler, Ke Sheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To measure lung motion between end-inhalation and end-exhalation using a hyperpolarized helium-3 (HP3He) magnetic resonance (MR) tagging technique. Methods and Materials: Three healthy volunteers underwent MR tagging studies after inhalation of 1 L HP3He gas diluted with nitrogen. Multiple-slice two-dimensional and volumetric three-dimensional MR tagged images of the lungs were obtained at end-inhalation and end-exhalation, and displacement vector maps were computed. Results: The grids of tag lines in the HP3He MR images were well defined at end-inhalation and remained evident at end-exhalation. Displacement vector maps clearly demonstrated the regional lung motion and deformation that occurred during exhalation. Discontinuity and differences in motion pattern between two adjacent lung lobes were readily resolved. Conclusions: Hyperpolarized helium-3 MR tagging technique can be used for direct in vivo measurement of respiratory lung motion on a regional basis. This technique may lend new insights into the regional pulmonary biomechanics and thus provide valuable information for the deformable registration of lung.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-653
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Deformable registration
  • Hyperpolarized helium-3
  • Lung motion
  • MR tagging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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