The USC 4D Quantitative Imaging Center, now open in a new location at Keck Hospital of USC, provides state-of-the-art 3-D and 4-D reconstructions of ultrasound, CT and MR images to clinicians and researchers across the Health Sciences Campus.

“3-D rendering gives referring physicians a better understanding of the imaging that they are receiving. This gives it a more understandable, real-world context,” explained Darryl Hwang, PhD, assistant professor of research radiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

4-D imaging has the added benefit of being able to visualize what happens to an area over a period of time. Hwang, who also is the lab’s director, gave a few examples of the many clinical applications for 3-D and 4-D imaging, which include volumetric analysis, 3-D model printing and “digital surgeries” — using the reconstructions to try different outcomes preoperatively in order to be better prepared during surgery.

“On top of that,” Hwang went on to say, “these are great for patient education.”

Bhushan Desai, MBBS, MS, assistant professor of research radiology at the Keck School, explained the growing need for full service imaging labs in today’s clinical and translational research programs.

“The increasing importance of imaging as diagnostic, prognostic and response biomarker has given rise to the formation of imaging core labs,” said Desai, who also is director of clinical research. “These labs specialize in the logistical management of all clinical research imaging services. Our lab fills the existing gap between advanced imaging technologies and the traditional radiology workflow, providing more accurate quantitative information.”

The lab also offers many other services to clinicians and researchers, including 2-D/3-D filming of CT and MR images, virtual endoscopy and multi-angle, multi-slice 2-D/3-D reformation. The lab also offers assistance in writing grant proposals and creating budgets for imaging needs.

The lab is now located at Keck Hospital in room B112. Clinical 3-D and 4-D imaging studies can be ordered through Cerner. For assistance, the lab can be contacted by calling (323) 442-8541, via email at, or in person.

— Amanda Busick