Courtesy of Prof Edwin van Beek and Prof Grace Parraga from the University of Western Ontario, these pulmonary MR images with inhaled hyperpolarized 129Xe gas show the lungs of a healthy volunteer (left; 79 year old female never-smoker) compared to a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (right; 77 year old female ex-smoker with a 40 pack-year smoking history). Top row: static ventilation images. Bottom row: apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps. The inhaled gas-contrast visualises ventilation defects in the COPD patient, with the brighter diffusion-weighted map reflecting larger ADC numbers indicative of airspace enlargement and/or emphysematous tissue destruction.
The image is taken from a recent review published in European Journal of Radiology:
Kirby M, van Beek EJR, Seo JB, Biederer J, Nakano Y, Coxson HO, Parraga G. Management of COPD: Is there a role for quantitative imaging? European Journal of Radiology. Available online 28 August 2016.