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AI helps detect brain aneurysms on CT angiography

Examples of false-positive aneurysms, including (a) bony structures and vessel bifurcation, (b) veins, (c) vessel curvatures, and (d) calcified plaques. Red box (d) indicates aneurysms annotated by radiologists, and the blue boxes indicate aneurysm candidates provided by the algorithm. Credit: Radiological Society of North America

A powerful type of artificial intelligence known as deep learning can help physicians detect potentially life-threatening cerebral aneurysms on CT angiography, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Cerebral aneurysms are weakened areas of blood vessels in the brain. Left untreated, they can leak or rupture, with sometimes fatal results. Detection and characterization of these aneurysms are critical, as the risk of rupture depends on the size, shape and location of the .

CT angiography is usually the first choice for evaluating cerebral aneurysms. The exam is highly accurate, but cerebral aneurysms can be overlooked on the initial assessment due to their small size and the complexity of the blood vessels in the brain.

“In our daily work we are always faced with cases in which some important lesions have been missed by the ,” said study senior author Xi Long, Ph.D., from the Department of Radiology at Tongji Medical College’s Union Hospital in Wuhan, China. “Cerebral aneurysms are among those small lesions that may be overlooked on the routine assessment of radiological images.”

Deep learning offers tremendous potential as a supplementary tool for a more accurate interpretation of cerebral aneurysms. A deep learning system is trained on existing images and learns to recognize abnormalities that can be difficult for a human observer to see. In radiology, deep learning has been recently been used as in a variety of roles assisting radiologists, such as in the detection of tuberculosis on chest X-rays.

AI helps detect brain aneurysms on CT angiography
A 54-year-old woman with aneurysm 2.9 mm
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Breathe Better With COPD | NIH News in Health

November 2020

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Living With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Maybe you’ve noticed that you get out of breath doing light activities lately. Or have a cough that won’t go away. You might think it’s temporary, or just part of getting older.

But these issues can also be signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly called COPD. With COPD, your lungs can no longer take in all the air you need.

More than 16 million people in the U.S. are living with COPD. Millions more likely have the disease but don’t know it. Symptoms can be mild at first and get worse over time.

“Some people with COPD get very short of breath when they try to walk, or do any kind of physical activity,” says Dr. Janet Larson, who studies COPD at the University of Michigan. “Some are bothered by persistent coughing.”

People may also feel tightness in their chest, experience wheezing, or a whistling or squeaky sound when breathing. They can also feel extremely tired, or fatigued.

“But many people don’t recognize the symptoms, or don’t know they can be from a disease,” says Dr. Prescott Woodruff, a lung specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.

COPD includes two main conditions. In one, called emphysema, tissue inside the lungs breaks down. In the other, called chronic bronchitis, the airways are irritated and show signs of inflammationHeat, swelling, and redness caused by the body’s protective response to injury or infection.. Many people with COPD have both.

“There are many things we can do for COPD,” Woodruff says. “Most of them can improve your quality of life. And some of them can improve life expectancy. So we want