Scan helping treat long-term COVID

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – For most who caught COVID, its just a few days of aches, pains, and fatigue. But for some, the symptoms just don’t go away. Those that suffer long-term impacts from COVID are called COVID Longhaulers. But now, the world’s first 4-D scan is changing how doctors diagnose and treat this condition.

“I had no energy. My lungs were aching, I had a horrible cough. It was scary.” Amy Dutrisac recalled, “We realized that our family had come down with COVID.”

It’s a familiar story for many. After just a few days, Amy’s daughter and husband started to feel better, but not her.

“I got increasingly worse.”

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

Dr. Ray Casciari is a Pulmonary Specialist at Providence St. Joseph Hospital explained the procedure, “It actually can measure air coming from, like, your upper lung on the right, lower lung on the right, upper and left lower lung.”

The XV technology uses 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 of the scan allows Dr. Casciari to immediately see what other lung imaging methods like chest X-rays and CT scans cannot. And the scan helped him know which targeted therapies to use on Amy.

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

“It’s worth it. It changed my life.”

Because there’s very little radiation exposure and the cost is low, only about $500, the scan can be repeated several times. Without being able to successfully treat long-term COVID, patients could face a lifetime of respiratory problems and even develop conditions like adult-onset asthma.

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