A texture analysis approach to quantify ventilation changes in hyperpolarised ³He MRI of the rat lung in an asthma model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In preclinical research, allergic asthma is investigated in rats sensitised with the antigen ovalbumin (OVA), followed by a challenge with aerosolised OVA to induce an inflammatory reaction of the lower airways. This causes diffuse, nonfocal ventilation defects that lead to heterogeneously distributed signal intensities in hyperpolarised (HP) (3)He MR images, which are difficult to assess directly by diagnostic grading or volumetry. Texture analysis can characterise these changes and does not require segmentation of the lung structures prior to the analysis. The aim of this work was to evaluate a texture analysis approach to quantify changes in lung ventilation in HP (3)He MRI of OVA-challenged rats. OVA-challenged animals were treated with two different compound doses to evaluate the sensitivity of the texture analysis. Four groups were investigated using HP (3)He MRI at 4.7 T: controls, vehicle-treated, and low- and high-dose budesonide-treated rats. In addition, broncho-alveolar lavage was performed and the eosinophil cell count was used as a biological reference marker. First-order texture, geometrical features and features based on second-order statistics using run-length and grey-level co-occurrence matrices were calculated. In addition, wavelet transforms were applied to compute first-order statistics on multiple scales. The texture analysis was able to show significant differences between the control and untreated vehicle groups as well as between the vehicle and treatment groups. This is in agreement with the findings of the eosinophil cell counts, which were used as a marker for the severity of inflammation. However, not all features used in the different texture analysis methods could differentiate between the treatment groups. In conclusion, texture analysis can be used to quantify changes in lung ventilation as measured with HP (3)He MRI after therapeutic intervention with budesonide.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords


  • Analysis of Variance, Animals, Asthma, Budesonide, Disease Models, Animal, Eosinophils, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Linear Models, Lung, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Rats, Rats, Inbred BN, Respiration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-41
Number of pages11
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes