Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Light Up Lungs To Help Diagnose Disease

Date:
April 29, 2008
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
Researchers have developed innovative technology which illuminates a person's lungs and helps clinicians identify if they are functioning correctly. The new technology could result in earlier diagnosis of emphysema and smoking related damage, as well as other lung conditions and diseases.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed innovative technology which illuminates a person΄s lungs and helps clinicians identify if they are functioning correctly. The new technology could result in earlier diagnosis of emphysema and smoking related damage, as well as other lung conditions and diseases.

Lung diseases are of growing concern to the health of the nation, with people suffering from conditions as mild as asthma or as severe as lung cancer. By detecting lung damage early, doctors could help slow down or stop the conditions.

The technique developed at Sheffield involves a person inhaling small amounts of harmless hyperpolarised (HP) noble gases (Helium-3 and Xenon-129), which are then imaged inside an MRI scanner. The gases are hyperpolarised using high power lasers by a process called optical pumping. The high resolution images of the airspaces that are produced offer additional functional information that is currently not available with traditional X-rays and lung CT scans.

The first clinical studies using this novel method have been carried out at the University of Sheffield, with the University holding the only UK regulatory licence to administer hyperpolarised gases for lung imaging.

Images obtained of lungs so far are shedding new light on a variety of different lung conditions and diseases. Tests carried out on smokers, for example, have shown signs of early emphysema.

The technology has also been used to help detect the early stages of lung obstruction in children with Cystic Fibrosis, something which a traditional X-ray would miss. The technique also allows repeated investigations in children without the fear of radiation exposure.

The researchers are also now looking at using the technology to assess inhaled therapies for asthma patients and help plan radiotherapy treatment in patients with lung cancer.

Jim Wild, a physicist from the University΄s Academic Unit of Radiology and the lead academic involved in the project, said: "The images produced are providing clinicians with functional information of the lungs that has previously been unattainable. The high sensitivity of the technology means that it offers real hope for detecting lung damage early.

"Being able to detect lung conditions and disease at an early stage could radically affect the lifespan and quality of life of patients. For children with cystic fibrosis it means that, with the right treatment, they could live longer. Patients who have successfully stopped smoking can also see how they can halt or slow down the damage being done to their lungs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sheffield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "Researchers Light Up Lungs To Help Diagnose Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428125804.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2008, April 29). Researchers Light Up Lungs To Help Diagnose Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428125804.htm
University of Sheffield. "Researchers Light Up Lungs To Help Diagnose Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428125804.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins