Accumulating and evaluating healthcare data is vital for diagnosis, as it provides a snapshot of a patient’s health at a specific point in their life. Although valuable, this approach falls short in providing comprehensive understanding of the patient’s long-term health trajectory. To address this limitation, healthcare professionals employ a process known as longitudinal analysis, which involves gathering and evaluating the continuously evolving data of various health-related factors at regular intervals over time. Capturing, reporting, and preserving data this way offers valuable insights into health trends and patients overall well-being. Below are two ways the 3DQ Lab uses longitudinal analysis to assist with patient care.
The 3DQ Lab tracks disease progression of Cardiovascular Surgery (CVS) patients using longitudinal analysis. CVS patients typically have been diagnosed with an enlarged aorta that requires monitoring for changes over time. Size and location of the enlargement, and any new areas of enlargement, are tracked and reported to healthcare professionals each time imaging is acquired. This data is used to assist with timing of surgical intervention to mitigate the chance of aortic rupture.
Figure A (Right): Example report of aortic measurements over time used for tracking CVS patients.
Patients diagnosed with or treated for tumors are carefully monitored by healthcare professionals by comparing successive images and measurements taken over time. Changes to the size r other characteristics of a tumor are quantified, providing insight into how a tumor is changing in response to treatment. Regular imaging tests and clinical evaluations also aid in the detection of newly developed tumors or regrowth. Quantified results can be displayed as a graph that visualizes the history of tumor characteristics over time. This information plays a critical role in treatment planning, enabling doctors to determine whether to continue with the current treatment approach or make necessary modifications.
The 3DQ Lab provides two tumor assessment services, MR Brain Tumor Quantification (TQ) and Tumor Response Assessment by Criteria (TRAC). Both programs utilize the tumor assessment methodology above, where MR Brain Tumor Quant highlights highlights changes to tumor characteristics in response to radiation therapy, and TRAC highlights changes to the size of the tumor in response to other forms of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy. Learn more about TRAC here: https://3dqlab.stanford.edu/trac/
Figure B: Example report for MR Brain Tumor Quantification, displaying a graph of various tumor characteristics over time.
Figure C: Example TRAC report graph displaying tumor size over time.
Figure D: Example measurements that feed into the graphics solutions above. These measurements highlight changes in the body over time.