Image of the frontal cortex

Quantitative Radiology is New Paradigm of Personalized Precision Medicine

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An interview with Dr. Luis Martí-Bonmatí of the Royal Academy of Medicine; Part 1.

Haga clic aquí para leer esta entrevista en español.

Dr. Luis Martí-Bonmatí has held chair number 13 of the Royal Academy of Medicine since last February. In his inaugural speech as a scholar at this prestigious institution, Dr. Martí-Bonmatí made references to quantitative radiology and imaging biomarkers.

Recently, he explored the topics further in an interview with Everything Rad. This is the first of a two-part conversation with Dr. Luis Martí-Bonmatí.
Image of the frontal cortex depicting quantitative radiology ER: How do you define quantitative radiology? What are its benefits?

Dr. Martí-Bonmatí: Quantifying involves measuring. But what is measured in radiology? Radiologists are accustomed to measuring distances and attenuations. However, we must also understand quantitative radiology and our specialty’s effort to extract images and objectively measure them relevant to the disease’s structural and biological parameters. To do this, we must process the acquired images so that these parameters are representative, reproducible, reliable, and accurate.

ER: Could you give an example of using quantitative radiology?

Dr. Martí-Bonmatí: An example is the virtual biopsy of bone trabeculae. With studies of MRI, CT, and digital radiography, we can represent the 3D structure of tubercular bone of a patient with the help of computers and computer tools. To measure the average size of the trabeculae, you need the diameter of pores, three-dimensional complexity and fragility to a load. These parameters are hidden to direct visual analysis but they generate objective data that, along with their measurement units, allow a more precise effect in this tissue’s early diagnosis, better treatment selection, and evaluation. Quantitative radiology is the tool of radiology in the new paradigm of personalized precision medicine.

ER: What role will imaging biomarkers play in the future of radiology and personalized medicine?

Dr. Martí-Bonmatí: Biomarkers, extraction, and clinical implementation are a part of radiology that studies the properties and behavior of tissue from images in an attempt to describe the phenomena relevant to medicine, accurately and truthfully. Its ultimate goal is to represent through computational models alterations that occur in different organs and biological systems, and that form the basis of the disease in a given individual.

These measures are represented as parametric maps where the image is reflected in the distribution and severity of organ damage and its variation over time or as a result of treatment. They are like virtual biopsies. An example is a map of cortical thickness in Alzheimer’s disease and its progression in the different forms of the disease phenotype.

Check back on Everything Rad to read Part 2 of the interview. In the meantime, learn more about the roles of imaging and data – as well as infrastructures – in personalized healthcare.


Dr. Luis Martí-Bonmatí

Dr. Luis Martí-Bonmatí has held chair number 13 of the Royal Academy of Medicine since February.


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