Advanced visualization: Cutting costs, dose

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The capabilities of advanced visualization imaging technology seemingly grow on a monthly basis. Not only can these applications bring new service lines onboard a practice, they also can help to lower patient radiation dose.

A team from the departments of radiology and vascular surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have used post-acquisition CT data processing to enable the use of nonenhanced CT for the detection of endoleak in the repair of endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysms.

The use of advanced visualization tools with the CT protocol allows for radiation exposure and cost to be greatly reduced compared with those associated with the traditional combined nonenhanced CT and contrast-enhanced CT angiography protocol.

This is particularly significant as after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, patients requiring repeated follow-up examinations potentially have impaired renal function.

Monitoring the response to therapy is crucial for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. In addition to assessing the efficacy of chemoradiation therapy, an accurate appraisal can spare patients weeks of toxic therapy without benefits. FDG PET or PET/CT after initiation of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both for NSCLC can be used to assess tumor response to therapy.

However, these modalities may not be available. Perfusion CT may offer a viable alternative for monitoring NSCLC therapy response, according to the results of initial research.  

The combination of perfusion post-processing software with traditional CT could allow clinicians without access to molecular imaging modalities to perform functional imaging for their cancer patients, and possibly at a lower cost. However, additional studies are needed to explore the changes in perfusion parameters before and after targeted therapies.

If you or your group are interested in finding out more about the capabilities of advanced visualization technology, and how it can extend and expand the reach of diagnostic imaging service lines, head over to our Healthcare TechGuide and check out the variety of systems offered there.

Lastly, if you have a comment or report to share about how the utilization of advanced visualization technology is changing your practice, please contact me at the address below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Batchelor, Web Editor