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CF Trust Funded 3Helium MRI MBW

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Combination of lung MR imaging with physiological assessment to identify and monitor ventilation heterogeneity in early CF lung disease.



  • Contact name

    C.J. Taylor

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust

  • Eudract number


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    5 years, 3 months, 6 days

  • Research summary

    Respiratory infection remains the main cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). Early treatment with antibiotics combined with airway clearance techniques has been shown to slow or halt the course of the disease; however, current blowing tests and routine chest X-rays are too insensitive to reliably identify early signs of disease. Chest X-rays often appear normal until significant lung damage has occurred and routine spirometry measures overall lung function rather than localised change. Computed tomography (CT) offers a more sensitive way of imaging the airway, but its application is limited by the radiation dose and the need for a general anaesthetic or heavy sedation in young children. Some Centres have advocated annual bronchoscopy and lavage (telescope tests and airway washouts) but we feel this is too invasive.

    Recently we have shown that a new type of MR scan, (3He MRI), which is radiation-free, can detect changes in the lungs which could indicate early infection. This capability, combined with MBW, a new form of blowing test, provides a powerful tool to identify mild lung changes, giving the opportunity for early antibiotic treatment before lung disease becomes irreversible. We propose to apply these two techniques to children and teenagers who appear to have mild disease (little change on their chest X-ray and normal blowing tests) to show firstly, that changes in the CF lung can be identified at an early stage before the onset of symptoms and before change becomes evident on chest X-ray with a sensitivity equal to superior to CT and second, to see if the MBW test is better than our current blowing test. We also want to see if the information from the two tests agree. This will allow treatment to be initiated early, when response is more likely, and to evaluate the effects of treatment.

  • REC name

    Yorkshire & The Humber - Leeds East Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    31 Oct 2012

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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