Researcher Marta Díez-Ferrer is awarded for a study that improves 3D rendering of the tracheobronchial tree


PhD candidate Marta Díez-Ferrer, a member of the

Pneumology research group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), has been awarded 3rd prize for best original research for the oral communication “Positive airway pressure-Enhaced CT to virtual Improve bronchoscopic navigation”, which was presented at the congress of the American Association of Interventional Pulmonology and Bronchology (AABIP). This congress was held in Los Angeles from 23rd to 26th October and brought together experts from the US and Canada.

The communication submitted by Díez-Ferrer lays the foundations for improving 3D rendering, also known as segmentation, of the tracheobronchial tree. Currently, more than one third of 3D rendering of the tracheobronchial tree cases are not detailed enough and browsers can not give the necessary support. Without proper segmentation, virtual bronchoscopy does not allow reliable navigation into the peripheral pulmonary nodule. The study shows that, if the pressure in the airways during a CT scan acquisition is modified using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), such as the one used for the treatment of obstructive apneas during sleep, a significant increase in the segmentation of the peripheral bronchi is observed. This positive pilot study is the starting point of a clinical validation study that has just started and that aims to reduce by more than half the cases of improper segmentation.

The data presented are the result of a collaboration between the team of Prof. Debora Gil from Computer Vision Center (UAB), the Department of Radiology (Dr. Elena Carreño and Dr. Pablo Naval) and several other units of the Pneumology Service (Dr. Jordi Dorca), such as the Lung Functional Unit (Dra. Susana Padrones and Dra. Samantha Aso), the Respiratory functional tests Unit (Dr. Vanessa Vicens) and the Respiratory Endoscopy Unit. (Dr. Noelia Cubero, Dra. Rosa Lopez Lisbona and Dr. Antoni Rosell). This research is part of a “La Marató de TV3” project entitled

“Diagnosis of Pulmonary Nodules by confocal endomicroscopy in the screening programs for lung cancer” and led by IDIBELL researcher Dr. Antoni Rosell.

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