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Evaluation of Chest Motion and Volumetry During the Breathing Cycle by Dynamic MRI in Healthy Subjects: Comparison With Pulmonary Function Tests

Plathow, Christian MD*; Ley, Sebastian MD*; Fink, Christian MD*; Puderbach, Michael MD*; Heilmann, Melanie PhD; Zuna, Ivan PhD; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich MD*

doi: 10.1097/01.rli.0000113795.93565.c3
Original Article

Rationale and Objectives: To investigate diaphragm and chest wall motion during the whole breathing cycle using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a volumetric model in correlation with spirometry.

Materials and Methods: Breathing cycles of 15 healthy volunteers were examined using a trueFISP sequence (5 slices in 3 planes, 3 images per second). Time–distance curves were calculated and correlated to spirometry. A model for vital capacity (VC), continuous time-dependent vital capacity (tVC), and investigating the influence of horizontal and vertical parameters on tVC was introduced.

Results: Time–distance curves of the breathing cycle using MRI correlated highly significant with spirometry (P < 0.0001). VC calculated by the model was similar to VC measured in spirometry (5.00 L vs. 5.15 L). tVC correlated highly significantly with spirometry (P < 0.0001). Vertical parameters had a more profound influence on tVC change than horizontal parameters.

Conclusions: Dynamic MRI is a simple noninvasive method to evaluate local chest wall motion and respiratory mechanics. It widens the repertoire of tools for lung examination with a high temporal resolution.

From the *Department of Radiology, †Department of Medical Physics in Radiology, and ‡Department of Radiation Therapy, German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Received September 7, 2003 and accepted for publication, after revision, December 6, 2003.

Reprints: Christian Plathow, MD, Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, INF 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. E-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.