Chronic respiratory diseases are one of the leading causes of death and morbidity. Therefore the assessment of regional and global ventilation distribution together with pulmonary perfusion imaging becomes more and more important. To date either radionuclide ventilation scintigraphy or high-resolution computed tomography (HR-CT) are used for ventilation assessment and pulmonary parenchyma analysis. But scintigraphy lacks spatial and temporal resolution while HR-CT applies radiation and lacks functional analysis. Over the last years Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the lung has evolved by using aerosolized contrast agents. MRI offers morphological and functional information and does not apply radiation dose. Approaches to use hyperpolarized gases like Xenon and Helium have been made, but these gases are complex and expensive to produce and use. Lately the use of widely available contrast agents like gadolinium chelates has been investigated. As no special MR hardware is needed and gadolinium is straightforward to apply this new method yields promising results for the future. This review is to give an overview about current developments and methods in Gadolinium-enhanced MR ventilation.
Keywords: Computed tomography, GD-DTPA, ventilation, aerosol distribution, Magnetic resonance imaging
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