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Abstract #3536

Age-Dependent Changes in Alveolar Microstructure of Healthy Adults by in vivo Lung Morphometry with Hyperpolarized 3He Diffusion MRI

James D Quirk 1 , Jason C Woods 2 , Alexander L Sukstanskii 1 , Barbara A Lutey 3 , Mario Castro 3 , and Dmitriy A Yablonskiy 1

1 Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States, 2 Pediatrics and Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, United States, 3 Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States

Pulmonary function in adults is known to decline with age. Using non-invasive diffusion MRI-based in vivo helium-3 lung morphometry, we studied 38 healthy subjects (ages 18-70) to determine the changes in lung microstructure at the alveolar level associated with this decline. We found that with increased age, there is a significant decrease in alveolar density, associated with both an increase in acinar duct lumen and acinar duct radius and a decrease in the alveolar depth. This establishes a baseline of age-dependent lung parameters for use in future studies to detect changes associated with pulmonary diseases.

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