Fujitsu, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, announced its development of new technology that accurately aligns nodules in a patient’s CT images, even when taken at different times. According to the company, aligning nodules is reasonably achievable in regions of the body with many blood vessels, but the position of a nodule may change because of a person’s heartbeat and breathing. Aligning nodules in CT scans can also be difficult in regions where blood vessels are scarce.

According to the Fujitsu website, CT images have traditionally been aligned using surrounding blood vessels and other features as reference points, but when there are few blood vessels in close proximity, the technique is imprecise. The company has recently developed a technology that accurately aligns CT images using not only nearby blood vessels, but also those located over a larger area as reference points, even when there are few blood vessels nearby.

Fujitsu reports that its new technology makes it possible to align a nodule’s position to an error margin of less than 2.5 mm, the level needed for practical use, in approximately 80% of cases. This level of nodule alignment is up from the roughly 30% achieved using conventional methods. Applying this new technology can reduce the time needed to align images, and potentially contribute to lightening the workload on doctors, according to the company.

Representatives from Fujitsu are slated to present details of this new technology at the Pattern Recognition and Media Understanding (PRMU) Conference on February 19, 2015 at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. The company has reported that it is still conducting practical testing, with the goal of developing the technology into a commercial product sometime in 2015.

For more information about the nodule alignment technology for CT images, visit the Fujitsu website.