To evaluate the reproducibility of indices of lung microstructure and function derived from 129Xe chemical shift saturation recovery (CSSR) spectroscopy in healthy volunteers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and to study the sensitivity of CSSR-derived parameters to pulse sequence design and lung inflation level.Methods:
Preliminary data were collected from five volunteers on three occasions, using two implementations of the CSSR sequence. Separately, three volunteers each underwent CSSR at three different lung inflation levels. After analysis of these preliminary data, five COPD patients were scanned on three separate days, and nine age-matched volunteers were scanned three times on one day, to assess reproducibility.Results:
CSSR-derived alveolar septal thickness (ST) and surface-area-to-volume (S/V) ratio values decreased with lung inflation level (P < 0.001; P = 0.057, respectively). Intra-subject standard deviations of ST were lower than the previously measured differences between volunteers and subjects with interstitial lung disease. The mean coefficient of variation (CV) values of ST were 3.9 ± 1.9% and 6.0 ± 4.5% in volunteers and COPD patients, respectively, similar to CV values for whole-lung carbon monoxide diffusing capacity. The mean CV of S/V in volunteers and patients was 14.1 ± 8.0% and 18.0 ± 19.3%, respectively.Conclusion:
129Xe CSSR presents a reproducible method for estimation of alveolar septal thickness.