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OBJECTIVES:To investigate the use of a fast dynamic hyperpolarised 129Xe ventilation magnetic resonance imaging (DXeV-MRI) method for detecting and quantifying delayed ventilation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). METHODS:Three male participants (age range 31-43) with healthy lungs and 15 patients (M/F = 12:3, age range = 48-73) with COPD (stages II-IV) underwent spirometry tests, quantitative chest computed tomography (QCT), and DXeV-MRI at 1.5-Tesla. Regional delayed ventilation was captured by measuring the temporal signal change in each lung region of interest (ROI) in comparison to that in the trachea. In addition to its qualitative assessment through visual inspection by a clinical radiologist, delayed ventilation was quantitatively captured by calculating a covariance measurement of the lung ROI and trachea signals, and quantified using both the time delay, and the difference between the integrated areas covered by the signal-time curves of the two signals. RESULTS:Regional temporal ventilation, consistent with the expected physiological changes across a free breathing cycle, was demonstrated with DXeV-MRI in all patients. Delayed ventilation was observed in 13 of the 15 COPD patients and involved variable lung ROIs. This was in contrast to the control group, where no delayed ventilation was demonstrated (p = 0.0173). CONCLUSIONS:DXeV-MRI offers a non-invasive way of detecting and quantifying delayed ventilation in patients with COPD, and provides physiological information on regional pulmonary function during a full breathing cycle. KEY POINTS:• Dynamic xenon MRI allows for the non-invasive detection and measurement of delayed ventilation in COPD patients. • Dynamic xenon MRI during a free breathing cycle can provide unique information about pulmonary physiology and pulmonary disease pathophysiology. • With further validation, dynamic xenon MRI could offer a non-invasive way of measuring collateral ventilation which can then be used to guide lung volume reduction therapy (LVRT) for certain COPD patients.

Original publication




Journal article


European radiology

Publication Date





1145 - 1155


The Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Old Road, Oxford, OX3 7LE, UK.


Lung, Humans, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Xenon Isotopes, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Pulmonary Ventilation, Spirometry, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male