Lung MRI

“To boldly go where most sequence developers have not gone before…”. Imaging empty space, i.e. air, is impossible by standard MRI and notably lung tissue is built from mesoscopic tissue cavities filled with air. Unfortunately, these cavities also lead to a very rapid signal decay and what is left in the basket disappears much faster than in any other tissue. As if this would not be enough, there is motion everywhere: motion due to natural breathing and motion due to the beating heart. Evidently, MRI of the lung is one of the most challenging tasks that you can think of and likely represents the royal path to MR sequence development. 

We offer dedicated MRI technology for functional, structural and tissue relaxometry lung imaging in the clinical setting with unprecedented resolution and specificity. For functional imaging we acquire a time series of two-dimensional chest images from which ventilation and perfusion information can be retrieved. In contrast, structural imaging is typically performed in 3D in either breath-hold or free-breathing. Further, we offer dedicated imaging strategies for lung tissue relaxometry and oxygen enhanced MRI, as well as automatized pipelines for pulmonary data analysis.

Currently, our methods are used at the Inselspital - University Hospital Bern, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Universitäklinikum Heidelberg

Project leader and contact

Project members


  • Prof. Dr. med. Philipp Latzin – Inselspital – University Hospital Bern
  • Prof. Dr. med. Lukas Ebner – Inselspital – University Hospital Bern
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Adrian Huber – Inselspital – University Hospital Bern
  • Dr. med. Sylvia Nyilas – Inselspital – University Hospital Bern
  • Prof. Dr. med. Mark WielpützUniversitäklinikum Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. med. Markus Mall – Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Dr. med. Felix Döllinger – Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Selected publications

Bauman, G., & Bieri, O. (2020). Balanced steady‐state free precession thoracic imaging with half‐radial dual‐echo readout on smoothly interleaved archimedean spirals. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 84(1), 237–246.
Bauman, G., Pusterla, O., Santini, F., & Bieri, O. (2018). Dynamic and steady-state oxygen-dependent lung relaxometry using inversion recovery ultra-fast steady-state free precession imaging at 1.5 T: Oxygen-Dependent Lung Relaxometry. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 79(2), 839–845.
Pusterla, O., Sommer, G., Santini, F., Wiese, M., Lardinois, D., Tamm, M., Bremerich, J., Bauman, G., & Bieri, O. (2018). Signal enhancement ratio imaging of the lung parenchyma with ultra-fast steady-state free precession MRI at 1.5T: SER Imaging of the Lung Parenchyma. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 48(1), 48–57.
Bauman, G., & Bieri, O. (2017). Matrix pencil decomposition of time‐resolved proton MRI for robust and improved assessment of pulmonary ventilation and perfusion. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 77(1), 336–342.
Nyilas, S., Bauman, G., Sommer, G., Stranzinger, E., Pusterla, O., Frey, U., Korten, I., Singer, F., Casaulta, C., Bieri, O., & Latzin, P. (2017). Novel magnetic resonance technique for functional imaging of cystic fibrosis lung disease. European Respiratory Journal, 50(6), 1701464.
Pusterla, O., Bauman, G., Wielpütz, M. O., Nyilas, S., Latzin, P., Heussel, C. P., & Bieri, O. (2017). Rapid 3D in vivo 1H human lung respiratory imaging at 1.5 T using ultra-fast balanced steady-state free precession: Ultra-fast SSFP for 3D Lung Functional MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 78(3), 1059–1069.