The assessment of short and long term changes in lung function in CF using 129Xe MRI.

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129Xe ventilation MRI is sensitive to detect early CF lung disease and response to treatment. 129Xe-MRI could play a significant role in clinical trials and patient management. Here we present data on the repeatability of imaging measurements and their sensitivity to longitudinal change.29 children and adults with CF and a range of disease severity were assessed twice, a median [IQR] of 16.0 [14.4,19.5] months apart. Patients performed 129Xe-MRI, lung clearance index (LCI), body plethysmography and spirometry at both visits. Eleven patients repeated 129Xe-MRI in the same session to assess the within-visit repeatability. The ventilation defect percentage (VDP) was the primary metric calculated from 129Xe-MRI.At baseline, mean (sd) age=23.0 (11.1) years and FEV1 z-score=-2.2 (2.0). Median [IQR] VDP=9.5 [3.4,31.6]%, LCI=9.0 [7.7,13.7]. Within-visit and inter-visit repeatability of VDP was high. At 16 months there was no single trend of 129Xe-MRI disease progression. Visible 129Xe-MRI ventilation changes were common, which reflected changes in VDP. Based on the within-visit repeatability, a significant short-term change in VDP is >±1.6%. For longer-term follow up, changes in VDP of up to ±7.7% can be expected, or ±4.1% for patients with normal FEV1. No patient had a significant change in FEV1, however 59% had change in VDP >±1.6%. In patients with normal FEV1, there were significant changes in ventilation and in VDP.129Xe-MRI is a highly effective method for assessing longitudinal lung disease in patients with CF. VDP has great potential as a sensitive clinical outcome measure of lung function and endpoint for clinical trials.

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