In a study from the Medical University of Vienna, scientists found new CT technology outperforms conventional CT in detecting subtle damage in the lungs of patients with persistent symptoms of COVID-19.
This new technology could lead the way to earlier treatment and better outcomes for the growing number of people with COVID-related lung damage.
Photon-counting detector (PCD) CT has emerged in the last decade as a promising imaging tool. It works by converting X-ray photons directly into an electrical signal.
This avoids the intermediate step of conversion by means of a photodiode found in conventional CT scanners that use energy-integrating detectors.
The result strongly reduces energy and signal loss at the detector site.
While PCD CT is not yet widely available, it has shown promise in the research setting.
In the study, the team examined PCD CT’s potential as a method for imaging the lungs of people with persistent symptoms after COVID-19.
They compared PCD CT with conventional CT in 20 adults, mean age of 54 years. The participants had one or more COVID-19-related persisting symptoms, such as cough and fatigue.
Conventional CT showed post-COVID-19 lung abnormalities in 15 of 20 (75%) participants. PCD CT showed additional lung abnormalities in half of the participants.
The most common abnormality found by PCD CT was bronchiolectasis, damage to the airways that can cause difficulties in clearing mucus from the lungs.
PCD CT’s ability to detect these subtle lung abnormalities is especially important because patients with persistent symptoms following COVID-19 can develop irreversible lung damage known as lung fibrosis.
Conventional CT is one of the primary methods for detecting and diagnosing lung fibrosis, but it can miss the subtle abnormalities indicative of early-stage fibrosis.
The more accurate estimation of the severity of lung abnormalities afforded by PCD CT could also benefit lung disease monitoring and treatment response evaluation.
If you care about Covid, please read studies about new evidence on rare blood clots after COVID-19 vaccination, and mouthwashes may suppress the COVID-19 virus.
For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about four easy ways to reduce your risk of severe COVID-19, and results showing Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce severe COVID-19.
The study was conducted by Benedikt Heidinger et al and published in Radiology.
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