Congratulations to Ms Sarah Needleman (UCL) and NCITA colleagues Professor Geoff Parker (UCL), Dr Mina Kim (UCL) and Professor James O’Connor (ICR & University of Manchester) on their recent publication ‘Independent component analysis (ICA) applied to dynamic oxygen-enhanced MRI (OE-MRI) for robust functional lung imaging at 3 T‘ in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, which was also chosen to feature as the journal cover image.

Dynamic lung oxygen-enhanced MRI (OE-MRI) is challenging at 3 Tesla, due to confounding signals and poor signal-to-noise ratio.  However, Needleman S. et al have created a new pipeline using independent component analysis (ICA) that promises enhanced accuracy and sensitivity of lung OE-MRI.

Dynamic OE-MRI was performed on healthy participants, utilizing ICA to isolate oxygen-induced signal changes from confounding factors.  The results showed consistent oxygen-enhancement across subjects, with significant differences in the percentage signal enhancement between smokers and nonsmokers.  The pipeline also demonstrated excellent scan-rescan and ICA pipeline repeatability, offering potential for early detection of lung function pathologies, including radiation-induced lung injury.

The group have also published a second paper in the same issue of the Magnetic Resonance in Medicine journal entitled ‘Feasibility of dynamic T2*-based oxygen-enhanced lung MRI at 3T’.

This study aimed to establish proof-of-concept of a T2*-sensitized oxygen-enhanced MRI (OE-MRI) method at 3T in healthy volunteers by assessing signal characteristics, repeatability, and reproducibility of dynamic lung OE-MRI metrics.  The results establish the viability of dynamic lung OE-MRI at 3 T, optimising a dual-echo RF-spoiled gradient echo approach that offers functional information with excellent or good repeatability and reproducibility. These findings suggest potential utility in multi-centre clinical application.

For more information, please visit our NCITA Exemplar 5 study webpage, as well as our NCITA Exemplar Projects webpage for details of our other NCITA Exemplar studies.