Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New imaging technique may help people with asthma

29.04.2003


A new magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technique using hyperpolarized helium lights up the lungs’ airways, providing, for the first time, clear resolution of even the smaller, seventh-generation airways. The technique, dynamic hyperpolarized 3He (helium) MR imaging, should help physicians better understand and treat asthma, as well as other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported their findings in the May issue of the journal Radiology.



"Other non-radioactive techniques have only been able to image lung peripheries," said the study’s principal investigator, Mitchell S. Albert, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and director of the hyperpolarized noble gas MRI laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. "Dynamic hyperpolarized helium MR imaging offers a completely noninvasive and safe method of studying the airways."

Dr. Albert collaborated with other researchers to pioneer hyperpolarized noble gas MR imaging, a technique he conceptualized in 1991 while researching the effect of anesthesia on the brain. "Our new technique provides information on ventilation, while depicting structure and function of the airways," Dr. Albert said. "Other non-radioactive imaging modalities do not provide this type of information."


For the study, researchers evaluated the degree of distal airway visualization in six healthy adult volunteers, ranging in age from 22 to 40, who inhaled one breath of hyperpolarized helium gas during MR imaging. Visualization was achieved using a fast gradient-echo pulse sequence during inhalation. The resulting images showed differential contrast of both distal airways and lung periphery.

The findings offer hope for asthma research, diagnosis and treatment. Currently, models predict where asthma closure and constriction occur in the airway tree, however, the airways during an asthma attack have never been visualized, according to Dr. Albert.

"Researchers do not yet know if asthma causes a global closure and constriction of the airways, whether it happens selectively within certain parts of the bronchial tree, or if it affects one or both lungs," Dr. Albert said. "With this technique we hope to actually see ventilation constriction and closure of the airways in people with asthma," he said. "Symptoms can be correlated with the information from the images to assist in treatment of asthma patients."

Dr. Albert and his team also plan to study bronchodilator treatment to see where bronchodilation occurs. This type of information will be beneficial to drug development and testing, he noted.

"We are developing tools to measure and study airway diameters during constriction and dilation in people with asthma," Dr. Albert commented. "In the weeks to come we will start dynamic hyperpolarized imaging of patients with asthma at Brigham and Women’s Hospital."

The new approach can easily be applied in a clinical setting. "Most hospitals have MRI machines that can be converted to image helium. Consequently, this imaging technique may soon be readily available to many more patients," Dr. Albert added.


###
Radiology is a monthly scientific journal devoted to clinical radiology and allied sciences. The journal is edited by Anthony V. Proto, M.D., School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. Radiology is owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America Inc. (http://radiology.rsnajnls.org)

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is an association of more than 33,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists and physicists in medicine dedicated to education and research in the science of radiology. The Society’s headquarters are located at 820 Jorie Boulevard, Oak Brook, Ill. 60523-2251. (http://www.rsna.org)

"Distal Airways in Humans: Dynamic Hyperpolarized 3He MR Imaging--Feasibility." Collaborating with Dr. Albert on this study were Angela C. Tooker, M. Eng., Kwan Soo Hong, Ph.D., Erin L. McKinstry, B.S., Philip Costello, M.D., and Ferenc A. Jolesz, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Maureen Morley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://radiology.rsnajnls.org
http://www.rsna.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Smart Computers

21.08.2017 | Information Technology

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>