Low dose CT scans obtained for lung cancer screening are now including a quantification of emphysema using software developed by the Imbio company (based in Minneapolis, MN).
Lung density analysis for emphysema is now FDA approved and has the technology has been validated by multiple studies. The process is fully automatic (data sent from scanner to Imbio software) with results included with CT images within minutes.
Image 1 indicates a representative a 2.5 mm low dose CT image with the corresponding emphysema analysis image (emphysema is colored red and normal lung is colored blue). A summary sheet (image 2) is generated (and included in the report to the participant) indicating the quantification of emphysema (colored red). A “Lung Health” (image 3) report is also provided to the participant and includes a toll-free number for help in quitting smoking for current smokers.
It is hoped that this will move Lung Cancer Screening beyond simple nodule detection and provide quantitative information related to emphysema. Future work will be directed to computer generated qualitative analysis of coronary artery calcifications on CT scans (without gating). Dr. Fuhrman is a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the Imbio Corporation and was involved in the development, testing, and verification of quantitative lung density analysis on CT.