New Method for Imaging Ventilation and Perfusion in the Lung Using MRI

Tech ID: 21991 / UC Case 2010-320-0


Virtually all lung disease is characterized to some extent by disruption of alveolar ventilation (VA) and perfusion (Q) (VA/Q) matching, resulting in gas exchange inefficiency. The only fully quantitative technique considered to be the “gold-standard” at the moment is MIGET (multiple inert gas elimination technique), which quantifies the overall distribution of ventilation or perfusion as a function of VA/Q ratio. However, MIGET is technically very demanding, highly invasive, and does not provide spatial information.

Technology Description

UC San Diego researchers have developed a fully quantitative non-contrast proton MRI technique to measure alveolar ventilation (VA) and perfusion (Q) and VA/Q matching in the lung. The technology provides the ability to measure spatial VA/Q on a voxel by voxel basis on a standard 1.5 T clinical scanner. Furthermore, concerns about contrast injection and/or radiation hazard are completely eliminated, which would be especially important where repeated evaluation would be desirable.


This novel technology provides unprecedented abilities to evaluate mechanisms of lung disease, injury, response to treatment and repair, and to screen populations of patients at risk of developing lung disease, and to monitor response to treatment in those already afflicted.

State Of Development

To date researchers have studied fourteen subjects and have analyzed data from three of them. Efforts to develop the metrics for describing the data are ongoing.

Related Materials


Patent pending.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,750,427 09/05/2017 2010-320


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Other Information


MRI, pulmonary function, alveolar ventilation, perfusion, VA/Q ratio, specific ventilation imaging, SVC, lung disease

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