New Image Analysis Technique Improves COPD Diagnosis

Parametric response map and CT images useful to diagnose COPD subtype, disease progression

THURSDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new voxel-wise image analysis technique, parametric response map (PRM), can be used to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) phenotype and provide information about the extent and location of disease and its progression, according to research published online Oct. 7 in Nature Medicine.

Craig J. Galbán, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a study involving 194 individuals with COPD from the COPDGene study to determine whether using the PRM technique on whole-lung computed tomography (CT) images taken during inspiration and expiration could be used to accurately detect COPD phenotype and disease progression.

Using this new image analysis technique, the researchers were able to identify the extent of functional small airways disease (fSAD) and emphysema. CT-based evidence indicated the fSAD preceded emphysema with increasing severity of COPD.

"PRM is a versatile imaging biomarker capable of diagnosing disease extent and phenotype while providing detailed spatial information of disease distribution and location," the authors write. "PRM's ability to differentiate between specific COPD phenotypes will allow for more accurate diagnosis of individual patients, complementing standard clinical techniques."

Several authors disclosed ties to the underlying technology, which has been licensed to Imbio, in which some of the authors have a financial interest.

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