MR imaging and spectroscopy using hyperpolarized 129Xe gas: Preliminary human results
Using a new method of xenon laser-polarization that permits the generation of liter quantities of hyperpolarized 129Xe gas, the first 129Xe imaging results from the human chest and the first 129Xe spectroscopy results from the human chest and head have been obtained. With polarization levels of approximately 2%, cross-sectional images of the lung gas-spaces with a voxel volume of 0.9 cm3 (signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), 28) were acquired and three dissolved-phase resonances in spectra from the chest were detected. In spectra from the head, one prominent dissolved-phase resonance, presumably from brain parenchyma, was detected. With anticipated improvements in the 129Xe polarization system, pulse sequences, RF coils, and breathing maneuvers, these results suggest the possibility for 129Xe gas-phase imaging of the lungs with a resolution approaching that of current conventional thoracic proton imaging. Moreover, the results suggest the feasibility of dissolved-phase imaging of both the chest and brain with a resolution similar to that obtained with the gas-phase images.