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Xenon in MRI OK for COPD Patients

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Inhaling undiluted, hyperpolarized xenon 129 for magnetic resonance imaging of the lungs is safe for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients as well as healthy volunteers, Duke University researchers reported online on Nov. 4 in the journal Radiology.

Inhaling undiluted, hyperpolarized xenon 129 for magnetic resonance imaging of the lungs is safe for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients as well as healthy volunteers, Duke University researchers reported online on Nov. 4 in the journal Radiology.

The team led by Bastiaan Driehuys, PhD, tested 24 healthy volunteers, 10 COPD patients, and 10 age-matched control subjects. All 44 subjects received three or four one-liter volumes of undiluted hyperpolarized xenon-129 followed by a breath-hold of up to 16 seconds for MR imaging. Researchers tracked oxygen saturation, heart rate and rhythm and blood pressure, in addition to respiratory rate and subjective symptoms. Subjects’ serum biochemistry and hematology, as well as echocardiograms, were recorded at the time of screening and 24 hours later; echocardiograms were done two hours prior and an hour after imaging, as well.

Driehuys and colleagues found that, while subjects did briefly experience mild symptoms associated with xenon’s anesthetic properties, hyperpolarized xenon-129 was well tolerated in healthy subjects as well as those with mild to moderate COPD.
 

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