Fetal relative lung volume: Quantification by using prenatal MR imaging lung volumetry

Gethin Williams, Fergus V. Coakley, Aliya Qayyum, Diana L. Farmer, Bonnie N. Joe, Roy A. Filly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To retrospectively determine a biometric algorithm for calculating relative lung volume in fetuses with normal lungs and of a wide range of gestational ages by using proved independent variables and to retrospectively investigate the use of this algorithm in fetuses with pulmonary hypoplasia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Total lung volume (TLV) was measured by using planimetry on single-shot rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained in 91 fetuses with ultrasonographically (US) normal chests and 28 fetuses with US-determined pulmonary hypoplasia. All fetuses were aged between 18 and 38 weeks gestation. Analysis of covariance was used to identify parameters that were not different between the fetuses with US-determined normal and those with US-determined abnormal chests, and these variables were used to construct an algorithm for calculating predicted lung volume. The relative lung volume - that is, the observed lung volume expressed as a percentage of the predicted lung volume - was then calculated in fetuses with pulmonary hypoplasia. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in mean maternal or gestational age between the two fetus groups. Stepwise regression analysis was used to generate the following equation for predicting fetal lung volume on the basis of independent biometric indexes, with a correlation coefficient of 0.93: TLV = (0.52·LV) + (0.33·BD) - (0.06·FL) - 13.7, with TLV and liver volume (LV) in milliliters and biparietal diameter (BD) and femoral length (FL) in centimeters. In the fetuses with normal chests, relative lung volume varied between 51% and 134%. In the fetuses with pulmonary hypoplasia, relative lung volume varied between 6% and 70%. CONCLUSION: The predicted lung volume in fetuses of a wide range of gestational ages can be calculated with a high degree of accuracy, enabling prenatal MR imaging lung volumetry in which relative lung volume is used to quantify fetal pulmonary hypoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetus, MR, 856.121412, 856.121416
  • Fetus, abnormalities, 856.8754, 856.8755
  • Fetus, respiratory system
  • Lung, ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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