The aim of this study was to evaluate the quantitative and semiquantitative measures of regional pulmonary parenchymal perfusion in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in relationship to global lung perfusion (GLP) and lung diffusing capacity (DLCO).
Materials and Methods
A total of 143 participants in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis COPD Study were examined by dynamic contrast-enhanced pulmonary perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 1.5 T. Pulmonary microvascular blood flow (PBF) was calculated on a pixel-by-pixel basis by using a dual-bolus technique and the Fermi function model. Semiquantitative parameters for regional pulmonary microvascular perfusion were calculated from signal intensity-time curves in the lung parenchyma. Intraoberserver and interobserver coefficients of variation (CVs) and correlations between quantitative and semiquantitative MRI parameters and with GLP and DLCO were determined.
Quantitative and semiquantitative parameters of pulmonary microvascular perfusion were reproducible, with CVs for all parameters of less than 10%. Furthermore, these MRI parameters were correlated with GLP and DLCO, and there was good agreement between PBF and GLP. Quantitative and semiquantitative MRI parameters were closely correlated (eg, r = 0.86 for maximum signal increase with PBF). In participants without COPD, the physiological distribution of pulmonary perfusion could be determined by regional MRI measurements.
Regional pulmonary microvascular perfusion can reliably be quantified from dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging–derived quantitative and semiquantitative perfusion measures correlate with GLP and DLCO.