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Physics  2004 

MRI of the lung using hyperpolarized He-3 at very low magnetic field (3 mT)

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Optical pumping of He-3 produces large (hyper) nuclear-spin polarizations independent of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) field strength. This allows lung MRI to be performed at reduced fields with many associated benefits, such as lower tissue susceptibility gradients and decreased power absorption rates. Here we present results of 2D imaging as well as accurate 1D gas diffusion mapping of the human lung using He-3 at very low field (3 mT). Furthermore, measurements of transverse relaxation in zero applied gradient are shown to accurately track pulmonary oxygen partial pressure, opening the way for novel imaging sequences.


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