The oxygen-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) ventilation imaging is a new technique, and the full extent of its physiological significance has not been elucidated. This review article includes background on (1) respiratory physiology; (2) mechanism and optimization of oxygen-enhanced MR imaging technique; (3) recent applications in animal and human models; and (4) merits and demerits of the technique in comparison with hyperpolarized noble gas MR ventilation imaging. Application of oxygen-enhanced MR ventilation imaging to patients with pulmonary diseases has been very limited. However, we believe that further basic studies, as well as clinical applications of this new technique will define the real significance of oxygen-enhanced MR ventilation imaging in the future of pulmonary functional imaging and its usefulness for diagnostic radiology.
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