World’s first 4D scan of long COVID lungs changing how doctors diagnose, treat virus

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Ninety-seven million Americans have had COVID. For most of us, it’s a few days of aches, pains, and fatigue. But for some, the symptoms just don’t go away. They are called COVID long haulers. And now, the world’s first 4D scan is changing how doctors diagnose and treat long COVID.

Amy Dutrisac remembers how she felt when she and her family realized they had caught COVID.

“I had no energy. My lungs were aching, I had a horrible cough. It was scary,” she recalls.

After a few days, Amy’s daughter and husband started to feel better, but not Amy.

“I got increasingly worse,” she says.

Amy was one of the first to undergo a new FDA-cleared four-dimensional scan of her lungs.

Pulmonary specialist at the Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, Dr. Ray Casciari, MD explains, “It can actually measure air coming from your upper lung on the right, lower lung on the right, upper and left lower lung.”

The XV technology uses a fluoroscopy, which is in all hospitals, but the new software algorithms convert the scans, allowing doctors to see defects caused by long COVID. The color coding allowed Dr. Casciari to see immediately what other lung imaging methods like chest X-rays and CT scans cannot.

The scan helped Dr. Casciari know which targeted therapies to use on Amy.

“It shed light where light needed to be shed,” Amy says.

And now, Amy is breathing easy and free of her all of her symptoms.

She expresses, “It’s worth it. It changed my life.”

Because there’s very little radiation exposure and the cost is low, about $500 per scan, the scan can be repeated several times. Without being able to successfully treat long COVID, patients could face a lifetime of respiratory problems and even develop conditions like adult onset asthma. This scan is also being used successfully to treat veterans who have burn pit injuries, and patients with emphysema and asthma.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer & Editor.