Software Enhancement Of Breast MRI Scans Help Radiologists Reduce False Positives

Using commercially available software to enhance breast scans done by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reduces the number of false positive identifications of malignant tumors and the subsequent need for biopsies, according to a new study.

Teresa Williams, M.D., and colleagues at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington Medical Center did a retrospective examination of 154 breast lesions deemed suspicious by radiologists that were only visible on MRI and that had been biopsied under MRI guidance. They compared the findings and recommendations made by radiologists at the time to new findings using computer-aided enhancement (CAE) software to enhance and evaluate the visible response to contrast agents absorbed by breast tissue.



MRI Is Key To Understanding Cartilage Health

Science Daily — Cartilage injury, repair and regrowth have long been mysterious processes. In part, this is because injured cartilage doesn’t act like many other injured tissues; cartilage continues to decline in function well after trauma, and is very slow to heal.

For the most part, however, the imaging tools traditionally used have not supplied enough quantitative data to successfully monitor the health of cartilage tissue. New imaging techniques and technologies are coming in place to change that, however.

“With MRI and MRI spectroscopy, we have the ability to understand easily and quickly exactly what is going on” in the joint, says UCSF orthopaedic surgeon Benjamin Ma, MD.

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Mobile PET/CT Staff More Exposed To Radiation, Study Shows

UK researchers call for more staff dose awareness and training when it comes to mobile PET/CT scanners, after their study investigated radiation exposure doses to technical staff involved in the various phases of patient scanning, in special during patient injection. The work, led by Mr. Khalid Alsafi from the Department of Physics of the University of Surrey, Guildford, was presented on Wednesday at the UK Radiological Congress 2007.

Static PET/CT facilities in the UK are limited - there are less than 20 scanners in England which has resulted in unfavourable waiting lists. Mobile PET/CT units can be considered as a helpful solution because they can offer access to a large number of locations, but the unit design, workload and staffing patterns are different from those used in static sites, often resulting in higher dose levels for technical staff operating mobile scanners.

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Scientists warn new EU rules threaten MRI scans

LONDON (Reuters) - New European Union safety rules, designed to safeguard workers, would jeopardize the use of MRI scanners in hospitals, leading scientists said on Monday.

The European Society of Radiology said new scientific evidence showed the limits set in the EU Physical Agents Directive were impractical, since they would be routinely exceeded by workers close to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.

"The values described in the directive would be exceeded in every use of MRI," Gabriel Krestin, professor and chairman of the Department of Radiology at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, said in a statement.

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A First: Simultaneous PET/MR Images Of The Brain Debut, Increase Molecular Imaging Capabilities

The world's first PET/MR images of the human brain - taken simultaneously by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and magnetic resonance (MR) - debuted during the 54th Annual Meeting of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals, June 2-6 in Washington, D.C.

"Here at SNM's Annual Meeting, we are showing the first simultaneously acquired PET/MR images of the human brain," noted Bernd J. Pichler, associate professor and head of the Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology in the Department of Radiology at the University of Tuebingen in Germany. "PET/MR, acquired in one measurement, presents a tremendous leap forward in imaging capabilities. PET/MR - acquired in one measurement - has the potential to become the imaging modality of choice for neurological studies, certain forms of cancer, stroke and the emerging study of stem cell therapy," he added. "We expect that PET/MR will open new doors in understanding the pathologies and progression of various neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia," he emphasized.

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What's Going On In The Body? Advanced Time-of-Flight PET Takes A Superior 'Look'

Moving from computer simulation to patient images, researchers are now demonstrating the benefits that time-of-flight (TOF)/PET (positron emission tomography) imaging can provide for cancer patients. The result? Superior images and shorter patient scan times for starters, according to a study released at the 54th Annual Meeting of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals, June 2-6 in Washington, D.C.

"Our TOF/PET patient images exhibit superior image quality and suggest that shorter patient scan times could be performed in many cases," said Amy Perkins, a Philips Medical Systems clinical site scientist based at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "Previously, we have studied TOF/PET with computer simulations and controlled experiments to approximate the behavior within the human body, showing that we can get very good image quality with shorter scanning times," she said. "We have now moved our investigation to clinical studies - using PET scans from patients with a wide range of body weight, with different types of cancer and with different size cancer tumors - to determine whether the scan time may be reduced significantly without sacrificing clinical content," added Perkins. "In our study, we are getting an excellent representation of what's going on in the body," she added.

complete Medical News Today article


Lawyer sparks distrust of MRIs

A malpractice attorney’s television advertisement has concerned doctors and panicked local patients injected with contrast drugs to enhance Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

At least four patients and some referring physicians have inquired about the safety of an ingredient in the contrast drugs, said Karen Saunders, marketing manager at Northeastern Pennsylvania Imaging Center on Stafford Avenue.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a technique used to produce high-quality pictures of the inside of the human body. Radiologists sometimes give patients contrast drugs with chemicals that make certain areas easier to view on the scan.

“We started getting calls last week and one lady, whose teeth are bothering her, is now sure it’s from the MRI,” Ms. Saunders said. “Prior to that, only referring physicians called us with questions in the last month.”

complete story from Scranton, PA Times-Tribune