Covid-19: New X-ray technology Developed at TUM, May Improve The Diagnosis of Covid-19.

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Dr Bucho

A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has, for the first time, produced dark-field X-ray images of patients infected with the coronavirus

The study is under Peer-Reviewed Publication at the TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (TUM) 80333 München



Covid-19, München: The Technical University of Munich (TUM) research group has created the first dark-field X-ray images of covid-19-infected patients. Dark-field images, as opposed to standard X-ray imaging, show the microstructure of the lung tissue, which adds more details. This method may offer an alternative to computed tomography (CT), which uses a significant amount more radiation.

The patient study demonstrates the benefits of dark-field X-ray technology

In Covid-19 patients, Lungs are typically seen utilizing computed tomography (CT). Several X-ray images taken at various angles are combined using CT technology to create a three-dimensional image. Compared to two-dimensional imaging utilizing traditional X-ray equipment, this yields more accurate results. The drawback is a higher radiation dosage because so many X-ray images are needed.

Dark Field Chest X-Ray

The new X-ray technology known as Dark Field Chest X-ray was created by Prof. Franz Pfeiffer At TUM. It is opening up new opportunities for radiological diagnostics: Dark-field X-ray imaging has been proposed as a new diagnostic tool for the assessment of micro-structural changes in lung parenchyma and has been positively evaluated for the imaging of various lung diseases in mouse models and first studies in humans “We concurrently capture conventional X-ray images and dark-field images during our X-ray inspection. [TUM] . This rapidly and simply provides us with further knowledge on the afflicted lung tissue “explains Franz Pfeiffer, Director of the Munich Institute of Biomedical Engineering and professor of biomedical physics.

Dark-field X-ray is a novel medical examination method. Prof. Franz Pfeiffer and his team developed the method from the ground up and have been advancing it continuously for over ten years, making it available for the world-wide first use in patients.

More Information On This New Dark Field x- Ray Technology

In close cooperation with radiologists at the TUM University hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar, the researchers developed the dark-field X-ray prototype which has been approved for initial clinical studies. The prototype is currently being used in several studies with patients suffering from various lung diseases. Following an initial study on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Covid-19, the technology might also be deployed in the future for other lung pathologies such as lung cancer, fibrosis, or pneumothorax. TUM


“Next, we hope to examine further patients. Once we have sufficient dark-field X-ray data available, we intend to use artificial intelligence to support the evaluation process. For conventional images, we have already carried out a pilot project for AI evaluation of our X-ray images,” says Daniela Pfeiffer, professor of radiology and medical director of the study at the TUM University Hospital Klinikum Rechts der Isar.

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