Researchers have developed a four-dimensional lung scanning technology that has the potential to transform treatment for millions of people with respiratory problems.
The scanner generates high-resolution images of lung-tissue motion and airflow throughout the lungs.
This can help investigators to view and measure abnormal function in specific areas of the lung, before a disease progresses and spreads.
"Our game-changing diagnostic tool offers images of the breathing lungs, making it possible to see what is really important – not what they look like – but how they work," Andreas Fouras, Professor at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.
Current tools are out of date and require two or three pieces of diagnostic information to piece together what is happening in someone’s lungs.
The new tool can identify damage at an early stage and will be able to inform intervention, with the hope of reducing further damage, the researchers added, in the work published in the journal Scientific Reports.
"With this technology clinicians can quantify the effects of treatment by simply comparing measurements from one scan to the next," noted Rajeev Samarage from Monash University