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New kind of 3D imaging test now approved for children 12 and older

(WKRC/Cincinnati Children's Hospital)
(WKRC/Cincinnati Children's Hospital)
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CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A newer kind of imaging test is now approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children ages 12 and older. Pediatricians at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said it’s allowing them to be the first in the nation to provide these images to help kids get the right treatment.

The 3D imaging gives doctors an option for a safe and detailed view of what they call lung ventilation. That means rather than just seeing a static shot, it maps out how well the lungs function. It uses xenon gas delivered into the lungs through a small bag before a patient is given an MRI.

Dr. Jason Woods of Children’s Hospital said the gas itself is harmless.

“It’s non-biologically or biochemically active. Many of us have inhaled helium in the past and spoken with a squeaky voice. Xenon is on that same side and that would make you speak in a very low,” said Dr. Woods, the director of the Center for Pulmonary Imaging Research at the hospital.

It leaves the body in seconds once exhaled, but the resulting images give medical providers a specific animated flow of tiny airways, otherwise not seen.

“It’s a completely new way of understanding lung ventilation, so understanding how well we are actually breathing,” Dr. Woods said.

The images provided are not only information about one area of the body, but the whole region.

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“So, if you’ve had a severe condition in the past, and the pulmonologist is asking a question about whether or not that particular region has recovered or is getting more severe, then we can answer that question,” Dr. Woods said.

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