The Thoracic Imaging section at Penn Medicine uses the most advanced technology to provide a full array of chest-related imaging services. This technology provides the most accurate diagnostic and treatment information to physicians and patients.

Services include:

  • Computed radiographs (digital chest x-rays)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Chest biopsies, including lung biopsies
  • Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the chest

A Commitment to Quality

A high-volume and growing clinical service at Penn, thoracic imaging clinicians perform over 100,000 digital chest images and more than 25,000 chest CT scans annually. Each year, our radiologists also perform nearly 200 transthoracic needle biopsies, a safe and effective method of diagnosing malignancies of the lungs.

The Thoracic Imaging section holds weekly, interdisciplinary conferences with teams from pulmonary medicine, oncology, surgery, pathology and other specialties.

The Thoracic Imaging Center is located within the Penn Lung Center at the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and provides patients and physicians with easy access to chest imaging services.

Lung Cancer Screening

Yearly lung cancer screening has been shown to save lives through early detection and intervention. Low-dose CT (LDCT) lung screening allows for lung cancer to be detected before symptoms develop.

The Penn Lung Cancer Screening Program is recommended for those at high risk and:

  • 55 to 77 years of age
  • Who have smoked at least an average of 1 pack a day for 30 years
  • Who still smoke or have quit within the past 15 years

Unlike many lung screening programs, all images performed as part of the Lung Cancer Screening Program are read by a dedicated thoracic imaging expert.

Advancing the Field Through Innovation

To continue to advance the field, research efforts are aimed at developing new techniques to evaluate lung health and treat lung diseases. New functional imaging possibilities, multi-dimensional image display and analysis tools, and markedly improved scanners have provided the framework for innovative breakthroughs. Researchers are working to develop a number of new technologies including hyperpolarized gas imaging of the lungs.

Using cutting-edge imaging methods, researchers at Penn hope to identify and quantify regions of abnormal lung function, and subsequently disease progression or improvement with treatment. These exciting developments can have applications in the treatment of emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, and the evaluation of transplant or lung volume reduction surgery.

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