News Release

How the diagnosing of lung diseases can be improved

A new computer program allows seeing the patient's airways before biopsy

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Ural Federal University

Ural Federal University

image: The program has been developed by the students and employees of the Institute of Fundamental Education, Ural Federal University. view more 

Credit: Stepan Likhachev

Three-dimensional visualization based on computer tomography imaging provides more thorough preparation for the diagnosis of lung diseases. Now the program passes the clinical testing stage. It has been already used to perform 25 transbronchial biopsies, the accuracy of the procedure has increased from 53% to 88%. The results of the research of UrFU scientists and the specialists of the Ural Scientific Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology have been published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Transbronchial biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure performed with the help of an endoscope, which is inserted in the patient's airways. After the instrument has reached the right place, small pliers are pulled out, with the help of which the doctor takes a sample of the affected tissue for further study. To determine the approximate position of the instrument in the airway, the endoscope is equipped with a video camera. However, the problem is that lesions can be located in the lungs of the patient outside the respiratory tract.

'The stage at which doctor pushes the pliers is carried out almost blindly: there are only two-dimensional images of computed tomography, so the specialist must create a three-dimensional picture in his head, taking into account the individual features of the patient's anatomy, to locate the lesion,' explain the authors of the research.

According to the developers of the program, it is planned to create a similar tool for surgeons performing operations on the thorax, and web-service for using programs through the browser from any computer connected to the Internet. The project for further research won a competition for youth innovation projects by the Russian Foundation for the Promotion of Innovation.


Article published in The European Respiratory Journal:

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