In Vivo Measurements of T2 Relaxation Time of Mouse Lungs during Inspiration and Expiration
Journal article, 2016
Purpose The interest in measurements of magnetic resonance imaging relaxation times, T1, T2, T2*, with intention to characterize healthy and diseased lungs has increased recently. Animal studies play an important role in this context providing models for understanding and linking the measured relaxation time changes to the underlying physiology or disease. The aim of this work was to study how the measured transversal relaxation time (T2) in healthy lungs is affected by normal respiration in mouse. Method T2 of lung was measured in anaesthetized freely breathing mice. Image acquisition was performed on a 4.7 T, Bruker BioSpec with a multi spin-echo sequence (Car-Purcell-MeiboomGill) in both end-expiration and end-inspiration. The echo trains consisted of ten echoes of inter echo time 3.5 ms or 4.0 ms. The proton density, T2 and noise floor were fitted to the measured signals of the lung parenchyma with a Levenberg-Marquardt least-squares three-parameter fit. Results T2 in the lungs was longer (p< 0.01) at end-expiration (9.7 +/- 0.7 ms) than at end-inspiration (9.0 +/- 0.8 ms) measured with inter-echo time 3.5 ms. The corresponding relative proton density (lung/muscle tissue) was higher (p< 0.001) during end-expiration, (0.61 +/- 0.06) than during end-inspiration (0.48 +/- 0.05). The ratio of relative proton density at end-inspiration to that at end-expiration was 0.78 +/- 0.09. Similar results were found for inter-echo time 4.0 ms and there was no significant difference between the T2 values or proton densities acquired with different interecho times. The T2 value increased linearly (p< 0.001) with proton density. Conclusion The measured T2 in-vivo is affected by diffusion across internal magnetic susceptibility gradients. In the lungs these gradients are modulated by respiration, as verified by calculations. In conclusion the measured T2 was found to be dependent on the size of the alveoli.
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