About this Research Topic
Lung imaging techniques have profoundly changed the understanding of physiology and the treatment of patients with respiratory failure. In the last decade several bedside techniques are emerging to help clinical decision making, to stratify patient severity and titrate respiratory assistance. These techniques, in conjunction with traditional imaging, are being rapidly developed and were extensively used in the last years. Current trends in medical practice are moving towards a patient-centric approach by providing tailored, individualized treatments for each patient. This concept of “precision medicine”, applied to patients with respiratory failure in the critical care setting, finds in imaging a unique tool to investigate not only the physiologic and morphologic characteristics of the lung, but also the impact of different treatments as well as respiratory support strategies.
After the pivotal studies in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), efforts have been made to allow quantitative assessment of lung images obtained with different techniques. This increased enormously our insight on the physiologic mechanisms underlying respiratory failure and in particular the effects of invasive mechanical ventilation on injured lungs. The focus has been recently shifted on regional effects of ventilation, inhomogeneity of lung disease as well as lung perfusion. In the era of randomized controlled trials, there is still need for increasing our base knowledge on respiratory physiology and pathophysiology of respiratory failure, with lung imaging playing a key role. Moreover, the outbreak of COVID-19, the most relevant worldwide public health emergency in the last several decades, resulted in an enormous burden of care associated with the treatment of severe patients with interstitial pneumonia. Information collected with computed tomography, dual-energy computed tomography, electrical impedance tomography and lung ultrasound are increasing our understanding of the disease that still has several aspects that remain to be elucidated.
This Research Topic will be an important reference and source of knowledge of the current trends in the field of lung imaging in patients with respiratory failure, both as a diagnostic tool and a research tool to clarify the pathophysiology of lung diseases. The focus is on respiratory failure because this is the field where different imaging techniques could both improve our understanding and our ability to deliver personalized, precision medicine to critically ill patients.
We welcome Reviews, Original Research, Mini Reviews, and Opinion article types. We expect submissions relating, but not limited to, the following themes:
- Validation and application to specific lung pathologies of bedside, radiation-free imaging techniques
- Computer-based algorithms aimed at providing quantitative information on lung physiology or improving diagnostic accuracy
- Lung imaging applied to patients with COVID-19 pneumonia
- Use of lung imaging to titrate mechanical ventilation
- Advanced imaging techniques applied to the study of lung aeration and perfusion
- Imaging applied to the study of lung inflammatory processes
Keywords: lung imaging, respiratory failure, respiratory mechanics, computed tomography, positron emission tomography, electrical impedance tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, lung ultrasound
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