From alligators to COVID-19, 3D images show lung pathology


December 2, 2020 -- What do 3D reconstructed images of alligators have to do with COVID-19? Researchers from Louisiana who began working together to image reptiles have leveraged their collaboration into a 3D method for visualizing lung pathology in cases of COVID-19.

At first glance, the work of radiologist Dr. Bradley Spieler and that of evolutionary biologist Emma Schachner, PhD, might not seem to have much overlap. But their collaborative work at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center on imaging alligators took on new urgency when COVID-19 hit Louisiana in March 2020.

The pair worked together to adapt 3D reconstruction techniques that Schachner had pioneered for use on reptiles with images acquired from patients who were being seen at Spieler's department at LSU Health Sciences Center. The resulting images were named Best Radiology Image in the Minnies for 2020. Spieler and Schachner explain their work in this video interview.

Spieler and Schachner say they plan to continue working together on future projects.


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