Multi-Contrast Chest Radiography (MC-CXR) for COVID-19 Diagnosis and Screening

  • Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Total publications:0 publications

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  • Funder

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United States of America, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

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AbstractAs of 4/30/2020, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected more than one million people andcaused 60,057 deaths in the United States. Neither the clinical symptoms nor the radiological features of COVID-19 are specific to the disease, resulting in significant challenges to the screening and early diagnosis of thishighly infectious disease. The current gold standard method for COVID-19 diagnosis, the reverse transcriptasepolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, has a relatively long turnaround time. Chest x-ray radiography (CXR)has been widely used in the United States for COVID-19 assessment since the first case reported in the US.However, the major challenge with the use of CXR is its low sensitivity and specificity to COVID-19, which islargely attributed to the lack of x-ray absorption contrast sensitivity to mild alveolar damages in the early phasesof COVID-19. In this Emergency Competitive Revision, we offer a quick response to the imperative clinical needto improve the diagnostic accuracy of CXR to COVID-19 by leveraging the multi-contrast x-ray imagingtechnology developed in our ongoing R01 project (EB020521). In particular, the x-ray dark field contrastmechanism is orders of magnitude more sensitive to partial fillings or collapses of alveoli and thus is expectedto offer a significant boost to CXR's sensitivity to alveolar damage. We will quickly construct a multi-contrastchest x-ray radiography (MC-CXR) system, characterize its physical performance, evaluate its radiation safety,and optimize its scan protocols. Finally, we will conduct a pilot human subject study to collect initial evidence forits clinical value in diagnosing COVID-19. Considering the high likelihood for a second wave of COVID-19, theavailability of the proposed MC-CXR system can facilitate the hospital systems to cope with additional rounds ofpatient surge by providing rapid "entrance" assessment of COVID-19.