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Fighting Lung Cancer: Faster Image Processing For Low-Radiation Ct Scans

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A look at a standard CT scan (left) versus an improved scan (right).

Researchers at the University of Michigan are working to reduce the amount of time needed for low-dose computed tomography scans from 30 minutes or more to five minutes.

Credit: University of Michigan News Service

The University of Michigan hopes to improve low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans by reducing the image-reconstruction process time from 30 minutes or more to five minutes.

The researchers will conduct a $1.9-million study using a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Professor Jeffrey Fessler and his team are investigating methods to reduce patients' exposure to ionizing radiation. The researchers are using software that improves three-dimensional CT scan images by modeling how the x-rays and detectors behave based on physics principles.

They also hope to reduce processing times by using multicore computing based on new algorithms that divide the data among the processors. As a result, each processor is able to handle a certain region and reassemble the image at the end.

The team will work from a data set gathered in a previous study from volunteer patients who agreed to be scanned once at a 20-percent radiation dose and once at an 80-percent dose. Fessler says the use of low radiation dose is essential for suspected cancer cases because they require multiple scans.

From University of Michigan News Service
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