Infection & Immunity
Imaging is commonly used in the diagnosis of many infectious and inflammatory diseases. The diagnostic evidence, accuracy, added value, cost-effectiveness is however often unknown. Current tests often lack specificity and with the rise of molecular imaging, many innovation into specific detection of infectious (e.g.aspergillus-PET) and inflammatory (e.g. B-cel PET) diseases are anticipated. As these disorders have poorly understood systemic effects (whole-body) imaging can provide crucial insight of subclinical deterioration of organ structure and function in these conditions.
Our research is multi- and interdisciplinary with collaborations with nearly all specialties, clinical epidemiology and technical sciences. The UMC Utrecht Center for Image Sciences participates actively and is starting up projects for further diagnostic evaluation of widely available images tests, for example the replacement value of low-dose computed tomography for plain radiographs in opportunistic and community acquired pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In oncology the role of B-cel PET is investigating in lymphoma’s throughout the body. Opportunities for gallium tracers for specific difficult to diagnose infections are explored.
Body imaging with PET, CT and MRI is implemented in small and large cohort studies of patients with inflammatory diseases, joint disorders and vascular diseases and of smokers to gain knowledge on the causes and consequences of subclinical inflammation or immunodeficiency. In unique cohorts, imaging findings are coupled with systems biology measures including (epi)genetics and proteomics to unravel complex inflammatory disorders.
Low dose CT scan of a fungal infection in a very early stage