Purpose: To assess the reproducibility of percentage ventilated lung volume (%VV) measurements in healthy volunteers acquired by fluorine (19F)‐MRI of inhaled perfluoropropane, implemented at two research sites.
Methods: In this prospective, ethically approved study, 40 healthy participants were recruited (May 2018‐June 2019) to one of two research sites. Participants underwent a single MRI scan session on a 3T scanner, involving periodic inhalation of a 79% perfluoropropane/21% oxygen gas mixture. Each gas inhalation session lasted about 30 seconds, consisting of three deep breaths of gas followed by a breath‐hold. Four 19F‐MR ventilation images were acquired per participant, each separated by approximately 6 minutes. The value of %VV was determined by registering separately acquired 1H images to ventilation images before semi‐automated image segmentation, performed independently by two observers. Reproducibility of %VV measurements was assessed by components of variance, intraclass correlation coefficients, coefficients of variation (CoV), and the Dice similarity coefficient.
Results: The MRI scans were well tolerated throughout, with no adverse events. There was a high degree of consistency in %VV measurements for each participant (CoVobserver1 = 0.43%; CoVobserver2 = 0.63%), with overall precision of %VV measurements determined to be within ± 1.7% (95% confidence interval). Interobserver agreement in %VV measurements revealed a high mean Dice similarity coefficient (SD) of 0.97 (0.02), with only minor discrepancies between observers.
Conclusion: We demonstrate good reproducibility of %VV measurements in a group of healthy participants using 19F‐MRI of inhaled perfluoropropane. Our methods have been successfully implemented across two different study sites, supporting the feasibility of performing larger multicenter clinical studies.