Scan Technology Advances Improve Lung Disease Treatment

A 4-dimensional lung scanning platform may advance patient care.

A 4-dimensional lung scanning platform provided new insights into improving treatment for individuals with lung disease during a recent study by Monash University.

This pre-clinical scanner is able to generate high-resolution images of lung tissue motion and airflow through the lungs, allowing investigators to examine and measure abnormal function in specific areas of the lung before the disease spreads.

“Current tools are out of date and require 2 or 3 pieces of diagnostic information to piece together what is happening in someone’s lungs,” said researcher Andreas Fouras, chairman and CEO of 4Dx. “Our game changing diagnostic tool offers images of the breathing lungs, making it possible to see what is really important — not what they look like – but how they work.”

The scanner has been commercialized by the medical technology company 4Dx.

“Monash has a long record of working with industry to apply deep research into practical commercial applications,” said joint lead study author, Dr Rajeev Samarage. “With this technology, not only will clinicians have a clearer image of what is happening in the patient’s lungs, but it is our aim to detect changes in lung function much earlier than in the past, which will allow clinicians to quantify the effects of treatment by simply comparing measurements from one scan to the next.”

The scanner could be an important tool for patients with lung diseases and according to Professor Greg Snell, Head of Lung Transplant Services at Alfred hospital, the scanner is a significant step.

“This technology has a great potential as a new tool for both early diagnosis and management of many very common lung conditions,” Snell said. “I think this will be the start of a new way of thinking about diagnostic imaging.”

The study’s findings were published in Scientific Reports.