Improved Diagnosis Of Pulmonary Disease Using X-Ray Dark-Field Radiography

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Lung diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide. Genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors all play a role in their development. It is well known that early detection of changes in the lung tissue is paramount important for improvement of the diagnosis and consequent treatment results of lung diseases.

Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (HMGU; Germany) working in cooperation with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Hospital (KUM; Munich, Germany) and the Technischen Universität München (TUM; Germany) in particular Dr. Ali Onder Yildirim and Prof. Oliver Eickelberg, from the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC; Munich, Germany) tested for the first time X-ray dark-field radiography on a living organism for the diagnosis of lung disease and achieved detailed images of soft tissue. This enables highly detailed images of the lung to be produced. 

The newly developed technique of X-ray dark-field radiography uses new technology to monitor wave changes during tissue transmission to create higher resolution images while conventional radiographic procedures generate images based on the absorption of X-rays as they pass through the tissue.

“With X-ray dark-field radiography, structural changes in the lung tissue are visible at an early stage,” said Dr. Yildirim.

The clinical application of this method shows promise in detecting diseases such as pulmonary emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis at an earlier stage, than it is currently available.

The work of the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, focuses on the most common diseases with the goal of devising new strategies to their diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. 

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