PURPOSE: The feasibility of hyperpolarized 129Xe for fast MR angiography (MRA) was evaluated using the echo-planar imaging (EPI) technique.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Hyperpolarized Xe gas was dissolved in ethanol, a carrier agent with high solubility for Xe (Ostwald solubility coefficient 2.5) and long relaxation times. The dissolved Xe was injected as a bolus into a flow phantom where the mean flow velocity was 15 cm/s. Ultrafast EPI images with 44 ms scan time were acquired of the flowing bolus and the signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) were measured.
RESULTS: The relaxation times of hyperpolarized Xe in ethanol were measured to T1=160+/-11 s and T2 approximately 20 s. The resulting images of the flowing liquid were of reasonable quality and had an SNR of about 70.
CONCLUSION: Based on the SNR of the obtained Xe EPI images, it was estimated that rapid in vivo MRA with 129Xe may be feasible, provided that an efficient, biologically acceptable carrier for Xe can be found and polarization levels of more than 25% can be achieved in isotopically enriched 129Xe.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Medical Image Processing
- Echo-Planar Imaging
- Feasibility Studies
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography
- Xenon Isotopes