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: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: To measure lung motion between end-inhalation and end-exhalation using a hyperpolarized helium-3 (HP 3He) magnetic resonance (MR) tagging technique. Methods and Materials: Three healthy volunteers underwent MR tagging studies after inhalation of 1 L HP 3He 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 HP 3He 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 (US)
Pages (from-to)650-653
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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