After Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy PET Scans Track Small Tumors

Readily available CT screening for lung cancer is increasing the discovery of small, primary lung cancers. For many, a radiation technique called stereotactic body radiotherapy presents a less invasive treatment option to surgery that is typically offered to non-surgical candidates. Currently there is great interest in evaluating this approach in surgical candidates, but researchers have yet to identify an early method to determine the effectiveness in treatment which is vital. In a study presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 49th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, researchers presented data showing metabolic response monitored by FDG PET may be an early surrogate for local treatment failure which may allow timely salvage surgery if deemed necessary.



Innovative 3D-imaging Technique Captures Brain Damage Linked To Alzheimer's Disease

ScienceDaily — Using an advanced three-dimensional mapping technique developed by UCLA researchers, the team analyzed magnetic resonance imaging data from 24 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 25 others with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Patients in both categories exhibit progressive brain atrophy, with most MCI patients showing the pathologic changes characteristic of Alzheimer’s. MCI patients slip into dementia at a rate of 10 to 15 percent each year. The research team found that patients with mild Alzheimer’s had 10 to 20 percent more atrophy in most cortical areas than did MCI patients.

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GE Healthcare Now Shipping Cardiac Imaging With Up To 70 Percent Lower Dose

GE Healthcare's SnapShot Pulse technology for Cardiovascular CT is now in place at dozens of facilities across the nation and it's on display at the annual meeting of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) in Washington, D.C. this week.

SnapShot Pulse is the industry's first-ever computed tomography (CT) feature that maintains outstanding image quality while reducing a patient's radiation exposure by up to 70% per scan. The CT system automatically "pulses" with a patient's heartbeat, turning the X-rays on and off at desired times during the heart rate cycle. In standard cardiac CT exams, the CT is on for the duration of a scan, even during periods when a patient's heart is at an undesirable phase. Since SnapShot Pulse software only keeps the x-ray active for optimal phases of a scan, it's able to significantly reduce a patient's radiation exposure time.

source - medicalnewstoday


MRI scan restrictions put on hold

A European law which would have restricted the use of life-saving MRI scanners was put on hold after complaints from British scientists and MPs that potential health risks from the machines were exaggerated.

A House of Commons Committee slammed the law in a report a year ago expressing "alarm" that the Commission was relying on 10-year old risk assessment information in such a fast-moving high-tech area as MRI scanners.

And a recent report submitted to Brussels by UK scientists also helped win a four-year postponement while EU experts reconsider the plan.

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ARRS Offering Breast MRI Symposium

ARRS announces that registration is now open for Practical Breast MRI, a two-day symposium scheduled February 1-2 at the Westin Casuarina Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The target audience includes practicing diagnostic and other radiology professionals, and in particular mammographers who are interested in applying current breast MR imaging protocols to their practice and addressing relevant issues.

Regisitration details are HERE

Early Determination Of Effectiveness Of Cancer Treatment Using Quantitative PET Imaging

With positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, seeing is believing: Evaluating a patient's response to chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) typically involves visual interpretation of scans of cancer tumors. Researchers have found that measuring a quantitative index -- one that reflects the reduction of metabolic activity after chemotherapy first begins -- adds accurate information about patients' responses to first-line chemotherapy, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

"In our study, we demonstrated that a quantitative assessment of therapeutic response for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is more accurate than visual analysis alone when using the radiotracer FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose) with PET scans," said Michel Meignan, professor of nuclear medicine at Henri Mondor Hospital in Creteil, France. "The ability to predict tumor response early in the course of treatment is very valuable clinically, allowing intensification of treatment in those patients who are unlikely to response to first-line chemotherapy," he added. "Similarly, treatment could possibly be shortened in those patients who show a favorable response after one or two cycles of chemotherapy, and quantification also may help identify the disease's transformation from low-grade to aggressive stage," he explained. "However, visual interpretation of PET scans will always be the first step of analysis and will prevail in case of difficulties to quantify images," added Meignan.

source - medicalnewstoday.com


MRI predicts liver fibrosis, study says

Moderate to severe chronic liver disease can be predicted with the use of diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI), according to a recent study conducted by researchers at New York University Medical Center in New York, NY.

Due to the increased incidence of chronic hepatitis in the United States, particularly hepatitis C, there is a strong need for non-invasive methods to replace or supplement liver biopsy, which is relatively invasive and limited by interobserver variability and sampling error, said Bachir Taouli, MD, lead author of the study. DWI appears promising in that purpose, although it needs validation in larger series, he said.



First Live Patient Demonstration of Next Generation i-CAT(R) Cone Beam 3-D Imaging System


Imaging Sciences International, the global leader in advanced dental and maxillofacial radiography products, and Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSIC - News), the largest provider of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners in the combined North American and European markets, successfully participated in the first live patient demonstrations of the Next Generation i-CAT® 3-D dental imaging system at the 2007 American Dental Association (ADA) Annual Session in San Francisco, Calif.

The i-CAT® is the leader in Cone Beam 3-D imaging, producing anatomically accurate three-dimensional views of all mouth, face, and jaw anatomy. The i-CAT® is exclusively distributed by Henry Schein in the United States and Canada. The live patient 3-D imaging educational session, featuring the i-CAT®, demonstrated how Cone Beam 3-D imaging can be used to analyze patient anatomy and create the most accurate treatment plans for successful surgical procedures.



Caution urged over overuse of CT scans in South Florida

By Bob LaMendola
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The CT scan — a medical darling for its detailed images, diagnostic power and big profits — is being overused in South Florida and nationally so much that some experts worry the radiation may cause cases of cancer.

New reports this year assert that computed tomography scans expose patients to small but significant doses of radiation that can add up over time, findings that CT defenders dismiss as alarmist.

The reports warn doctors to limit CT radiation exposure to patients, especially children and small adults who are at elevated risk, and to use radiation-free ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if possible.

source article here


New thoracic imaging approach can pinpoint underlying venous problems

University of Cincinnati (UC) radiologists have developed a new technique for capturing images of chest veins that eases diagnosis of venous diseases.

Multi-detector computed tomography (CT) scanners are traditionally used to create three-dimensional images of arteries, the vessels which carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart and distribute blood throughout the body. Veins, smaller vessels that return blood to the heart, are more difficult to accurately image.

Developed by Cristopher Meyer, MD and Achala Vagal, MD, the new protocol allows radiologists to compensate for the extra time it takes contrast solution to reach the veins so useful images can be produced using the CT scanner.

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MRI Is More Sensitive At Detecting Early Signs Of Breast Cancer Than Mammography

If used with appropriate diagnostic criteria, MRI is much more sensitive than mammography for detecting breast cancers before they have developed to an invasive stage, and particularly good at identifying those lesions which are more likely to progress to dangerous forms of cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet. This finding is in stark contrast to previous studies comparing the two techniques that concluded MRI can not detect early cancers as effectively as mammography.

Debates over which screening modality is best for detecting ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)---an early type of breast cancer in which cancerous cells are present but are confined to the milk ducts within the breasts---have in the past focused on identification of microcalcifications, small areas where cells have died and subsequently turned into calcium deposits, which are used as a hallmark of cancerous growth. Mammography can visualise these features in a breast scan whereas MRI cannot.

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