Unlike existing contrast agents, which appear in white on the images, Lumentin® gives a black, so-called negative, contrast. This makes it possible to separate the intestinal loops from surrounding organs. When scanning the abdomen with CT, an iodine-based, “white” contrast is injected intra-venously. The contrast agent accumulates especially well in lesions, most of which have increased circulation and therefore stand out in the image. Since the Lumentin®-filled small intestine provides a black background, the mucous membrane’s white interface will appear in bright contrast.
Another advantage of Lumentin® is that it is completely food-based and mostly consists of microscopic air bubbles held intact in the small intestine. Also, the production of Lumentin® is in all aspects environmentally friendly.
Lumentin® has undergone clinical tests with very good results. Patient acceptance is very high, and an external audit by leading international radiologists found Lumentin® to fill out the small intestine as effectively as today’s contrast agents, creating images with “outstanding” quality, comparable to those from MRI scans.
Lumentin® is simply drunk by the patient prior to the CT scan. Its main ingredients are air and water, and only food-approved substances have been added. This reduces the risk of side effects and patient discomfort, and means a comparably short pathway to drug approval, as no toxicological tests are required.
The Hounsfield Scale
The Hounsfield scale indicates the contrast produced by different tissues and agents in a CT scan. Full negative – black – contrast is given by air or gas (-1000 HU) while skeleton or metal produces full positive – white – contrast. The scale is named after its inventor, Nobel Prize laureate Sir Godfrey Hounsfield (1919-2004) – one of the pioneers of the computerized tomography technology.