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Innovative Ultrasonic Methods for the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Pulmonary Fibrosis

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Technical Report,15 Apr 2018,14 Apr 2019

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North Carolina State University Raleigh United States

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis IPF, affecting 200,000 patients in the U.S leads to changes in the micro-architecture of the parenchyma, such as thickening of the alveolar walls. This study investigates the use of ultrasound to detect these changes, by exploiting ultrasound multiple scattering by the air-filled alveoli. In a highly scattering media such as the parenchyma, ultrasound propagation follows a diffusion process which can be characterized using the Diffusion Constant. We hypothesized that in a fibrotic lung, the thickening of the alveolar wall reduces the amount of air, minimizing the scattering events and changing the scattering pattern. Pulmonary fibrosis was created in Sprague-Dawley rats by bleomycin inhalation. The animals were studied in groups of n6 2, 3, and 4 weeks after bleomycin administration, allowing to evaluate a range of severity of pulmonary fibrosis. The Diffusion Constant was measured using a linear array ultrasound transducer in vivo. The rats were then euthanized. Computed Tomography and histology evaluation were performed to estimate the degree of fibrosis created. Significant differences p0.05 in the D values between control and fibrotic rats. Correlations of D with the CT and histology data were observed. This suggest the potential of this method for diagnosis and monitoring of IPF.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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