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Radiology researchers' success at research day

1 August 2017

Three of the Trust's researchers, all from the radiology department, were successful in winning awards for their research at a recent Postgraduate Research Day held at Hammersmith Hospital on 11 July. The event was hosted by the National Heart and Lung Institute (Imperial College). 

Dr Thomas Semple, who is supervised by Dr Simon Padley, was awarded first place for his poster presentation on the application of new imaging techniques for paediatric respiratory disease. In collaboration with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) physicists from Manchester and Basel in Switzerland, he is applying new respiratory MRI techniques to assess pulmonary ventilation and perfusion in young people with cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia.  

In combination with imaging of the nasal sinuses and upper abdomen, it is hoped this examination could provide an ionising radiation-free follow-up imaging test for use as part of the annual review process. He is also working with Imperial College medical and computing students to produce a way of standardising computed tomography (CT) chest examinations for the assessment of neonatal lung diseases.

Dr Hasti Robbie, supervised by Dr Anand Devaraj, was awarded a prize for her oral presentation which looked at the role of novel CT measurements in predicting lung function restriction and survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Currently the most widely used method for assessing disease severity in IPF is by using a combination of CT scans and pulmonary function tests, both of which have limitations. Dr Robbie’s research found that by using CT scans differently, namely looking at lung volume loss, mortality could be better predicted when compared to traditional methods of scoring disease extent on CT. 

And finally, Dr Joseph Jacob, who is supervised by Professor David Hansell, was awarded the thesis prize for his work involving the use of advanced computer algorithm to quantify disease extents on chest CT scans in over 850 patients with fibrosing lung disease. The research found that in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), computer-derived CT features were more powerful and more sensitive measures of disease progression than lung function tests.

Joseph’s work has so far resulted in nine research publications and several national and international awards. Two of the papers were selected as being amongst the five most important imaging papers of 2016 at the American Thoracic Society conference in 2017. The work has also signalled, to the radiology community, the arrival of computer analysis of CT imaging as a realistic alternative outcome measure in patients with pulmonary fibrosis.

Congratulations to the radiology researcher fellows and the radiology department on their successes.

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