Chest Imaging Research Group

The chest imaging research group is an interdisciplinary research group in the Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. The group includes faculty members, senior and junior radiologists, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, and medical students and has the aim to represent the multimodal imaging of the lungs and the associated thoracic structures. The main focus of the research groups is the development and implementation of new imaging protocols for chest radiology.

The research group works closely with various clinical partners, namely thoracic surgery, pulmonology and rheumatology. Furthermore, there are collaborations of individual departments of the ETH with the aim to combine the respective knowledge and skills and to provide a platform for medical questions.

The main interests of the thoracic and cardiovascular research group include the following modalities and main research areas:

Imaging in interstitial pulmonary diseases

  • Establishment of a specific CT and MR examination method for the detection and for the quantitative assessment of the course of the development of interstitial lung disease in patients with systemic sclerosis in collaboration with the Department of Rheumatology of the University Hospital Zurich (Prof. Distler)
  • Development of a method for the quantitative assessment including texture analysis of the course of interstitial lung disease in patients with systemic sclerosis in collaboration with the Department of Rheumatology of the University Hospital Zurich (Prof. Distler)
  • Evaluation of Oxygen-enhanced MR for assessing regional perfusion changes in interstitial lung disease.

Imaging in malignant pleural mesothelioma and bronchial Ca

  • Implementation and evaluation of tumor volumetry as an independent prognostic factor as well as a marker for the response of chemotherapy in collaboration with the Thoracic Surgery of the University Hospital Zurich (Prof. I. Opitz, Prof. Weder)
  • Participate in the evaluation of PET/CT and PET/MR in the staging of the bronchial carcinoma in collaboration with the Department of Nuclear Medicine of the University Hospital Zurich.

New techniques in conventional X-ray

  • Evaluation accuracy and the added value of dual-energy X-ray images.
  • Tomosynthesis of the wrist and hand were established and validated. Our results support the use of tomosynthesis to assess the fracture healing in the wrist.

Lung volume reduction surgery

  • Establishment of dynamic MR as a predictor for outcome


Thomas Frauenfelder, Prof. Dr. med.

Institutsdirektor, Institut für diagnostische und interventionelle Radiologie

Tel. +41 44 255 93 83
Spezialgebiete: Thoraxradiologie, Bildgebung der weiblichen Brust


Oliver Distler, Prof. Dr. med.

Klinikdirektor, Klinik für Rheumatologie

Tel. +41 44 255 29 70
Spezialgebiete: Systemische Sklerose, Bindegewebserkrankung, Systemerkrankungen

Malcolm Kohler, Prof. Dr. med.

Ärztlicher Direktor

Tel. +41 44 255 86 48
Spezialgebiete: Allgemeine Pneumologie (insbes. Chronisch obstruktive Lungenkrankheit (COPD), Asthma), Schlafassoziierte Atmungsstörungen und Beatmung, Atemgasanalystik

Isabelle Schmitt-Opitz, Prof. Dr. med.

Klinikdirektorin, Klinik für Thoraxchirurgie

Tel. +41 44 255 88 04
Spezialgebiete: Roboterchirurgie, Erweiterte onkologische Resektionen, Pulmonale Endarteriektomie