According to Medical Xpress, researchers have succeeded in producing 3D images showing oxygen and CO2 transport in the lungs, which may help lead to more effective forms of treatment for COPD and lung cancer. Engineer and PhD student Troels Johansen from the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University worked in collaboration with researchers form Harvard Medical School to develop a mathematical model as part of his PhD project that provides the basis for the 3D images, which are in turn developed from PET scans.

Johansen says, “We are the first to develop a new model for how you can see into the lungs. The model provides a kind of 3D map of how and where the CO2 and oxygen transfers take place.” The new method was recently published in the scientific journal Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology.

The new model can also be used for different groups of patients. “For example, if we take cancer patients with a tumor in the lung, it will be easier to predict the consequences of removing part of the lung by surgery. It will also be easier for doctors to determine the COPD patients who will benefit from an operation and those who will not,” Johansen explains. “We also believe that the new model will come to contribute with knowledge that can help patients in intensive care who are on a respirator.”

Johansen says the new model will not only make it easier for doctors to foresee the consequences of high-risk lung operations, but it “will also contribute new basic knowledge about the crucial oxygen and CO2 transfer in both healthy and diseased lungs.”

Source: Medical Xpress