Imaging of flow through the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses: Preliminary work with hyperpolarized xenon
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine
Sleep Apnea, Obstructive
Experience has been gained at several imaging sites with the use of hyperpolarized gases to image the lungs and the proximal airways. The theoretical advantage to using a polarized noble gas is the dramatically higher polarization values when compared with the small fraction of the hydrogen spin polarization currently utilized in magnetic resonance imaging. Using polarized noble gases, the potential increased signal enhancement is on the order of 100 fold. Hyperpolarized gases provide the ability to image air flow and air-containing structures. Utilization of specially tuned coils on standard clinical imaging systems has enabled imaging of the lungs and airways, using the hyperpolarized gas as a positive contrast agent. We have begun work on imaging the real-time air flow through the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, about which little is currently known. Rapid acquisition techniques allow us to perform dynamic imaging of the pattern of airflow through the nasal cavity, and gain information regarding the patterns of air exchange within the paranasal sinuses. This technique may lead to understanding of air flow in normal and disease states.