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To apply magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to differential diagnosis of cardiogenic pulmonary edema (CPE) and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (NCPE).In the CPE group, MR measurements were performed on 5 rats just before and 3 h after administration of 21 ± 2% body weight of normal saline. In the NCPE group, measurements were similarly performed on 5 animals just before and 48 h after 0.75 mg/body of lipopolysaccharide intratracheal administration. Animals were killed for bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) or pathological analysis after MR measurements.The relation between signal intensity and the T2* value of MR imaging was different in the two groups. The T2* in the NCPE group was significantly longer than that in the CPE group at the same signal intensity level. The lactate levels measured by in vivo MR spectroscopy did not show a difference between the CPE and NCPE groups, although the lactate BALF levels of the two groups were significantly different.The relation between signal intensity and T2* value was useful for the differentiation between these two pulmonary diseases. The measurable lactate level in pulmonary lesions suggests the applicability of MR spectroscopy to pulmonary disease. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.