Breathe in, Breathe out: New Way of Imaging Lungs Could Improve COPD Dx, Tx, University of Michigan Study
10/8/2012 7:54:15 AM
A new approach to lung scanning could improve the diagnosis and treatment of a lung disease that affects approximately 24 million Americans and is the country's third-highest cause of death. In a new paper published online in Nature Medicine, a team from the University of Michigan Medical School reports on a technique called parametric response mapping, or PRM. They used PRM to analyze computed tomography, or CT, scans of the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, who took part in the national COPDGene study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The researchers report that the PRM technique for analyzing CT scans allows them to better distinguish between early-stage damage to the small airways of the lungs, and more severe damage known as emphysema. They've also shown that the overall severity of a patient's disease, as measured with PRM, matches closely with the patient's performance on standard lung tests based on breathing ability.