Coronavirus: High-tech imaging offers graphic insight into severe lung damage caused by COVID-19

3-D imaging shows damage that coronavirus can cause on human lungs

A thoracic surgeon in Washington, D.C., is offering video proof through high-tech imagining of the extensive damage the novel coronavirus can wreak on even a healthy patient’s lungs.

Dr. Keith Mortman, the chief of thoracic surgery at George Washington University Hospital, recently shared a first-of-its-kind 3-D video highlighting the rapid progression of a 59-year-old patient’s COVID-19 infection, WJLA reported.

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Mortman used a CAT scan to create a virtual reality rendering to illustrate the extensive lung damage the virus can cause, the TV station reported.

"So this patient is a gentleman in his late 50's, who initially had a fever and a non-productive cough like many other people. He presented to a nearby hospital with respiratory symptoms, and the respiratory symptoms progressed quite rapidly, to the point where he had to be intubated and put on the ventilator," Dr. Mortman says in the video.

According to CNN, the patient had been asymptomatic just a few days before the scan was conducted, but the extensive COVID-19 damage is clearly visible, illustrating exactly why his lungs are failing to function properly.

Mortman, who created the rendering in tandem with a software development firm called Surgical Theater, characterized the rapid deterioration of the patient’s lung function as “quite alarming to see, in all honesty.”

“Because unlike your garden variety pneumonia that might affect only one small part of the lung, or unlike the common flu, what you’re seeing in this video is really the widespread damage to the lung, and you can see in vivid color how it affects not only both lungs, but many different parts of both lungs," Mortman told WJLA.

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