MRIs May Damage Cochlear Implants

Tests show that certain MRI machines may demagnetize the magnets used in cochlear implants to couple external and implanted components of these hearing devices, according to a report in the December issue of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery.

Cochlear implants may be an option for those with severe hearing loss. It involves a surgical procedure in which a small electronic device is placed under the skin behind the ear and attached to a wire that stimulates the inner ear, allowing the recipient to hear useful sounds.

Cochlear implants also contain internal magnets used to connect an external processor with the surgically implanted components, Dr. Omid Majdani, of the Medical University of Hannover, Germany, and colleagues explain. These magnets can interact with other magnets, such as those found in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. MRIs exert strong magnetic fields that may induce voltages or temperatures that could damage the implant or harm the patient.

source: >Newsmax.com


New large bore MRI technology enhances imaging results, patient comfort

(Media-Newswire.com) - University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics recently installed an advanced magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI ) system that combines a larger and shorter bore ( opening ) for obese, claustrophobic and anxious patients, with the ability to capture high-quality diagnostic images.

The Siemens Medical Solutions MAGNETOM Espree is the world's first high-performance 1.5 Telsa Open Bore MRI. The magnet's patient-friendly design makes it easier for large patients and those with claustrophobia to have an MRI examination that produces the same outstanding image quality as with smaller closed bore MRI systems. Fewer exams will need to be interrupted or repeated.

"This technology increases our efficiency and patient convenience," said Wendy R.K. Smoker, M.D., UI professor of radiology and co-director of MRI. "It also makes innovative medical imaging technology used for detection, diagnosis and treatment planning of cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular disorders, and other diseases available to more patients."

Since two-thirds of American adults are overweight, the health care industry is challenged to accommodate these larger patients with imaging systems that were initially designed for people who weigh much less.

source: Media Newswire


First Imaging Agent Approved for Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) in the U.S.

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 22, 2008--EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for marketing its novel blood pool magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) agent, Vasovist(R) (gadofosveset trisodium), to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD) in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease. AIOD occurs when iliac arteries become narrowed or blocked and may prevent the sufficient transport of oxygen and/or blood throughout the body.

Vasovist is the first contrast agent approved for marketing in the United States for use with MRA, a non-invasive modality for imaging blood vessels. In 2007, there were approximately 1.3 million MRA procedures performed in the United States using contrast agents not specifically approved for this procedure. MRA is a less invasive procedure than x-ray angiography, allowing for reduced patient discomfort and recuperation time and unlike x-ray angiography, MRA does not expose patients to ionizing radiation. Vasovist had previously been approved for marketing in 34 countries outside the United States based on data from four multi-center, Phase 3 clinical trials that showed that Vasovist's overall accuracy was similar to that of catheter-based x-ray angiography, as determined by blinded readings.

source: Epix Pharmaceuticals


MRI Brain Scans Accurate in Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

Tampa, FL (Dec. 19, 2008) -- MRI scans that detect shrinkage in specific regions of the mid-brain attacked by Alzheimer’s disease accurately diagnose the neurodegenerative disease, even before symptoms interfere with daily function, a study by the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) in Miami and Tampa found.

The study, reported earlier this month in the journal Neurology, adds to a growing body of evidence indicating MRI brain scans provide valuable diagnostic information about Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings are important in light of many new disease-modifying drugs in trials -- treatments that may prevent mild memory loss from advancing to full-blown dementia if administered early enough.

"We advocate, based on these findings, that the criteria for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease should include MRI scans,” said the study’s lead author Ranjan Duara, MD, medical director of the Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at Mount Sinai Medical Center who is affiliated with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and University of South Florida College of Medicine. “By incorporating MRIs into the assessment of patients with memory problems, early diagnosis can be standardized and done far more accurately.”

source: University of South Florida Press Release


MRI Pads Exceed Critical Fire Testing Requirements, Assuring Patient Safety

HAYWARD, CA, Dec 18, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Patient Comfort Systems, Inc. announces that its MRI pads have passed and exceeded the stringent CAL TB-133 fire test standard. This independent testing is critical to assure patient safety. No other MRI pad manufacturers have publicly disclosed that their pads have passed this stringent new fire testing code.

Peter Rothschild, MD, CEO of Patient Comfort Systems, explains, "When the polyurethane foam core within the MRI pads burns, it can present more than just the obvious fire danger. These foam pads burn with great intensity releasing toxic gases into the room."

The CAL TB-133 standards were developed to provide realistic, practical testing to determine the risk of an uncontrolled fire resulting from bedding and table pad materials. These standards are strongly supported by the International Association of Fire Fighters, IAFF, and serve as the basis for uniform legislation and regulation regarding the combustible requirements of pads used in health care facilities including MRI centers.

source: MarketWatch


Alliance Imaging Announces Acquisition of Shared P.E.T. Imaging, LLC

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 16, 2008--Alliance Imaging, Inc. (NYSE:AIQ), a leading national provider of outpatient diagnostic imaging services and radiation therapy services, announced today that it has acquired Shared P.E.T. Imaging, LLC (SPI), a mobile and fixed-site provider of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), based in Canton, Ohio.

Paul S. Viviano, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "As Alliance continues to execute on our disciplined acquisition plan, I am very pleased to announce the addition of SPI and its fine team of patient care professionals to our team. Alliance believes that the expansion of PET/CT's critical role in cancer detection and related treatment planning will result in continued overall growth in patient procedures. As part of our plan to expand Alliance's strategic position as a national leader in PET/CT services, we are pleased to be able to move forward and combine our respective organizations in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast United States.

source: Alliance Imaging


SensL enters PET/MRI brain imaging market

(Cork, Ireland, and San Jose, CA; 20 November, 2008) – SensL, an international low light sensing solutions provider, has announced sales of Silicon Photomultiplier technology to enable construction of two PET/MRI brain imaging systems. The sales are announced with two major international institutions: Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, in Seoul, Korea and the Department of Radiology/Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford University in California, USA.

Both Samsung Medical Centre and Stanford University will integrate SensL's SPMArray (Position Sensitive / Multi-Anode Silicon Photomultiplier Array) into their PET/MRI systems. The SPMArray is the first commercially available, solid-state, large array detector based on silicon photomultiplier technology.

‘We are extremely excited about our entrance into this emerging market with such internationally recognized groups as Samsung Medical Center and Stanford University. PET/MRI is an emerging multi-modality technique with potential to improve the characterization of certain cancers as well as neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and enable advanced treatment monitoring.

source: SensL


If MRI shows signs of MS, will the disease develop?

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With more and more people having brain MRIs for various reasons, doctors are finding people whose scans show signs of multiple sclerosis (MS) even though they have no symptoms of the disease. A new study published in the December 10, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that a third of these people developed MS within an average of about five years.

The study involved 44 people who had brain scans for various reasons, such as migraine headaches or head trauma, that showed abnormalities similar to those that occur in MS. The researchers confirmed that the abnormalities were the same as in MS and ruled out other possible causes. Then the researchers monitored the participants to determine whether they developed the disease.

Within an average of 5.4 years, 30 percent of the participants had developed MS symptoms. The brain scans of an additional 29 percent of the people showed further abnormalities, but they continued to have no symptoms of the disease.

"More research is needed to fully understand the risk of developing MS for people with these brain abnormalities, but it appears that this condition may be a precursor to MS," said study author Darin T. Okuda, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, the UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

source: EurekAlert

GE Healthcare Introduces Groundbreaking Medical Imaging Technologies for Improved Patient Care

NEW YORK, Dec 09, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- New Products Shipping Today to Healthcare Facilities Around the World:

-- Low-dose Discovery(TM) CT750 HD is the World's First High-Definition CT
-- Fast Discovery(TM) MR750 Improves Patient Experience
-- LOGIQ(R) E9 Enables Better Diagnosis and Treatment through Innovative Fusion Technology

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (GE: General Electric Company , today announced the commercial availability of three imaging solutions for faster, gentler imaging, which will enable better patient care: the low-dose Discovery(TM) CT750 HD, the fast Discovery(TM) MR750, and the innovative fusion technology of the LOGIQ(R) E9. Doctors from leading hospitals joined patients whose lives have been affected by these technologies at a showcase today in New York City.

"GE has developed technologies that improve the entire patient experience, from early and more accurate diagnosis to better treatment and management of diseases," said John Rice, vice chair of GE and president and CEO of GE Technology Infrastructure. "The Discovery CT750 HD, Discovery MR750 and LOGIQ E9 are setting new technological standards in the early detection and diagnosis of many prevalent health issues. We are excited to bring these breakthrough innovations to help patients around the world."

source : GE Press Release


National Institutes of Health Installs Toshiba's Aquilion ONE Dynamic Volume CT System

TUSTIN, California — December 8, 2008 — Meeting the needs of today's healthcare demands for improving patient care and safety while lowering costs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health (NIH) has installed the most advanced, lowest radiation CT system available — Toshiba's Aquilion® ONE, the world's first dynamic volume CT system.

As the nation's leading medical research agency, NIH plans to use Toshiba's Aquilion ONE dynamic volume CT system for research to improve patient outcomes with a study focusing on low-dose cardiac exams. Additional future studies using the Aquilion ONE could include examining coronary artery disease and myocardial perfusion.

Beyond lowering radiation dose, the Aquilion ONE's ability to image the entire organ and show real-time motion helps reduce diagnosis time from hours or days to minutes for patients suffering from life-threatening conditions. It also enables physicians to treat patients faster and more accurately than before, which will ultimately help lower healthcare costs.

source: Toshiba Medical


Toshiba Education Center Offers new Dynamic Volume CT and Breast MR Courses

CHICAGO — December 4, 2008 — Continuing to expand its educational offerings, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. has created two new courses that will be taught at the Toshiba Education Center in Irvine, Calif. One course will provide an overview of dynamic volume CT using Toshiba's Aquilion® ONE while the other will focus on breast imaging using Toshiba's Vantage™ MR technology. Toshiba will be showcasing the Aquilion ONE CT system and the Vantage MR systems at this year's Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in Chicago, Nov. 30 – Dec. 5, 2008 (Booth #3429, South Hall).

"Toshiba continues to advance not only its technology, but also its educational offerings," said Sharon Yoon, director, Education and Sales Support, Toshiba. "Without quality, hands-on training, many clinicians will not be able to fully utilize these technological advances, which can directly impact the care provided to patients."

While using Toshiba's 320-detector row dynamic volume CT, physicians and technologists will be presented with the differences between traditional helical scanning and dynamic volume technology and its benefits regarding workflow, clinical pathways and patient comfort.

sourc: Toshiba Medical


Imaging in Living Color with Siemens Molecular CT

CHICAGO, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- First introduced at the European Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in October, Siemens Biograph mCT hits the ground running, experiencing high demand in a time when the current economical situation demands maximum utilization of existing and new imaging equipment. Biograph mCT reaches the United States as a pioneer, not only in hybrid imaging, but as an integrated imaging and workflow concept. Siemens brings Biograph mCT to RSNA as the world's first integrated imaging device to offer routine, whole-body PET scanning in just five minutes with ultraHD-PET technology, Adaptive Spiral CT and patient friendly features, such as a large bore and small tunnel, which adds up to a smart imaging solution considering today's shrinking imaging budgets. The resulting utilities from this combination of advanced PET and CT technologies in one compact system will drive change in the way institutions think about integrated diagnostics.

"Since the introduction of molecular CT, we've seen a tremendous response from customers all around the world. Biograph mCT has already begun to change perceptions in the marketplace about integrated imaging devices that provide a better return on investment," said Michael Reitermann, chief executive officer, Molecular Imaging, Siemens Healthcare. "As the forerunner in integrated imaging solutions, Siemens is leading this change in perception and combining two modalities to provide incredible clinical value. We created Biograph mCT to serve the needs of both radiology and molecular imaging -- all while offering institutions cutting-edge technology, the greatest level of patient care and maximum return on investment."

source: Siemens


CT Colonography Offers One-Stop Screening for Cancer and Osteoporosis

CHICAGO — New research reveals that computed tomography (CT) colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, has the potential to screen for two diseases at once—colorectal cancer and osteoporosis, both of which commonly affect adults over age 50. Results of the study will be presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"With CT colonography, in addition to screening for colorectal cancer, we were able to identify patients with osteoporosis," said lead author Rizwan Aslam, M.B.Ch.B., assistant clinical professor of radiology at the University of California San Francisco.

CT colonography, an imaging study performed to detect pre-cancerous polyps in the large intestine, begins with an abdominal CT scan, which creates cross-sectional images of all structures in the abdomen including the spine. Computer software then arranges the CT images to create an interior or "fly-through" view of the colon.

source: RSNA


Coronary CTA is a Non-Invasive, Low Cost Alternative for Evaluating “Intermediate Risk” Patients, Even with Calcified Plaques

Coronary CTA offers a low cost, non-invasive alternative to conventional angiography for evaluating patients who are suspected of having coronary artery disease; true even if the patients have calcified coronary artery plaques, according to a study performed at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.

The study included 31 patients who had one or more calcified coronary artery plaques that were discovered during coronary CTA. Calcified plaques in the arteries were graded as small, moderate or large. Initially the accuracy rate of determining the degree of stenosis caused by the larger calcified plaques was 67%. The study is ongoing and “now with further experience, the accuracy rate of determining the degree of stenosis with larger plaques is 72%,” said David C. Levin, MD, lead author of the study.

source: ARRS


MRI Shows New Types of Injuries in Young Gymnasts

CHICAGO — Adolescent gymnasts are developing a wide variety of arm, wrist and hand injuries that are beyond the scope of previously described gymnastic-related trauma, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"The broad constellation of recent injuries is unusual and might point to something new going on in gymnastics training that is affecting young athletes in different ways," said the study's lead author, Jerry Dwek, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of radiology at the University of California, San Diego and a partner of San Diego Imaging at Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center.

Previous studies have reported on numerous injuries to the growing portion of adolescent gymnasts' bones. However, this study uncovered some injuries to the bones in the wrists and knuckles that have not been previously described. In addition, the researchers noted that these gymnasts had necrosis, or "early death," of the bones of their knuckles.

source: RSNA News Release


Siemens Unveils MR Oncology Applications and Dedicated Breast Scanner at RSNA 2008

CHICAGO, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Siemens Healthcare (http://www.siemens.com/healthcare) redefines Magnetic Resonance (MR) in Oncology with Tim™ (Total imaging matrix) technology at the 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) from November 30 to December 5 at McCormick Place (Booth #922, East Building/Lakeside Center, Hall D) in Chicago. Siemens offers comprehensive and state-of-the art solutions for Oncology.

MR plays a central role in Oncology for tumor characterization, staging, pre-surgical planning, therapy monitoring, and follow-up. syngo® TimCT Oncology joins Siemens' comprehensive Oncology Solutions and offers continuous table movement for extended Field of View (FoV) imaging and comprehensive staging for increased workflow. For example, a pelvic exam can be completed in as little as 20 minutes. syngo TimCT Oncology reduces the need for rescheduling multiple exams on other modalities by offering one complete exam on one system.

source: Siemens


Nationwide Study Confirms PET as the Most Powerful Imaging Tool in Cancer Management

Reston, Va.—With the most recent release of data from the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), researchers may have reached the moment of critical mass by confirming the effectiveness of positron emission tomography (PET) in the monitoring of tumor activity across a wide range of cancers.

"During the first year of the study, we verified that PET finds more areas of active cancer than other imaging tools and leads, in some cases, to earlier initiation of subsequent treatment," said Bruce E. Hillner, M.D., professor of medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., and lead author of the article. "We noted that PET has a clinically significant impact on cancer management, resulting in a change in treatment in more than one out of three cases—or 36 percent of the time."

In the article, published in the December issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers reported results by cancer type for the first two years of data collected from nearly 41,000 PET studies conducted at more than 1,300 cancer centers nationwide. Analysis was restricted to the use of PET for staging, restaging or detection of suspected recurrences in patients with pathologically proven cancers.

source: SNM


New CT scanner from Siemens Healthcare sets the bar higher

Malvern, Pa., November 24, 2008 - With the SOMATOM® Definition Flash, Siemens Healthcare (www.siemens.com/healthcare) is introducing a CT scanner that will set new standards regarding speed and dose reduction. The system requires only a fraction of the radiation dose that systems previously required to scan even the tiniest anatomical details faster than ever before. The SOMATOM Definition Flash is a new dual-source CT from Siemens, featuring two X-ray tubes that simultaneously revolve around the patient's body. The fastest scanning speed in CT (i.e., 43 cm/s) and a temporal resolution of 75 ms, enable for example complete scans of the entire chest region in just 0.6 seconds. Thus, patients are no longer required to hold their breath during the exam the way they had in the past. At the same time, the SOMATOM Definition Flash operates at an extremely reduced radiation dose. For example, a spiral heart scan can be performed with less than 1 millisievert (mSv), whereas the average effective dose required for this purpose usually ranges from 8 mSv to 40 mSv.

Siemens will present its new SOMATOM Definition Flash CT scanner at the 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) from November 30 to December 5 at McCormick Place (Booth #922, East Building/Lakeside Center, Hall D).

source: Siemens Medical


CT Scans Are Overused In The Follow-Up Of EVAR: Many Can Be Omitted Or Replaced By Duplex Saving Dollars And Decreasing Radiation Exposure

Long term surveillance with computed tomography (CT) after endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) increases both cost and risk. The purpose of a study presented by Michael S. Makaroun, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Chief, Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, was to evaluate an alternative follow-up modality with color flow duplex ultrasound scanning (CDU) as the sole method of imaging.

Currently most practices follow the manufacturer's recommend schedules. Dr. Makaroun stated that the community needs to rethink the schedules, because EVAR is very expensive and a good part of that expense is from CT charges.

source: Medical News Today


Patients Develop Superbug MRSA Infections After Undergoing MRI Scanning

HAYWARD, CA, Nov 18, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Dr. Peter Rothschild, one of the world's foremost MRI experts, is alerting the public to the possible risk of Superbug MRSA infections during medical imaging studies, such as MRI.

Numerous patients have developed "Superbug" infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotics after their MRI. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most common superbugs that patients have contracted after undergoing an MRI scan.

The most famous of these cases is that of 15-year-old honor roll student Nile Moss, who died from an MRSA infection after an outpatient visit to a hospital where he underwent an MRI. After leaving the hospital, Nile developed a high temperature. Three days after being admitted to the hospital, he died.

source: MarketWatch


EnRhythm MRI SureScan Pacemaker System Now Commercially Available in Europe

MINNEAPOLIS – Nov. 17, 2008 –Medtronic, Inc., (NYSE: MDT) announced it has received CE (Conformité Européenne) Mark for the first-ever MR-Conditional pacemaker system, the EnRhythm MRI™ SureScan™ pacemaker and CapSureFix MRI™ SureScan™ pacing leads (Model 5086MRI). The new system was designed, tested and approved for use with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) under specified scanning conditions, and is now commercially available in select European countries. Patients receiving the EnRhythm MRI SureScan Pacing System will for the first time be able to undergo MRI scans under certain conditions, representing a major milestone in the evolution of implantable cardiac devices.

“MRI is an invaluable medical diagnostic tool for many common diseases and conditions that, until now, patients with implanted pacemakers have been prohibited from receiving,” said Alain Coudray, M.D., Medtronic’s vice president of the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business in Western Europe. “Medtronic recognizes the complex needs of today’s patient and will continue to develop advancements in pacemaker technology and other devices that allow patients to receive optimal medical care.”

source: Medtronic


Popular Science Names Toshiba's Aquilion ONE "Best of What's New"

TUSTIN, California — November 13, 2008 — Recognizing the innovation behind its dynamic volume CT scanner, Popular Science has named Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.'s Aquilion® ONE 320-detector row CT scanner "Best of What's New" in the Personal Health category of its annual awards. As its top-selling issue annually, "Best of What's New" highlights products that represent a significant leap forward, such as the Aquilion ONE dynamic volume CT scanner.

Calling the scanner, "the fastest CT scanner yet," Popular Science stated the Aquilion ONE "can visualize organs, blocked arteries and tumors in a single heartbeat. That speed means faster diagnoses and 80 percent fewer X-rays than with other CT scanners. The advance is a set of 320 high-resolution X-ray detectors that can image a six-inch (up to 16 cm) swath in one swift rotation."

source: Toshiba Medical Systems


Siemens Announces Study Results of New Imaging Biomarker

Moving personalized medicine from promise to practice, Siemens Healthcare announces the early study findings of a new imaging biomarker for hypoxic tumors. The study, done in collaboration with Dr. Jian Q. (Michael) Yu, and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, was presented today at the World Molecular Imaging Conference in Nice, France. This imaging biomarker is intended for exclusive world wide distribution by PETNET Solutions, a fully owned Siemens subsidiary.

The results of the safety study indicated that HX4, a new imaging biomarker developed at Siemens Molecular Imaging Biomarker Research, is safe for use in human positron emission tomography (PET) imaging studies. The study included initial human data regarding bio-distribution of the new agent, radiation dosimetry levels in normal volunteers and optimal patient imaging parameters with PET. Results of the study indicated that the compound was found to be stable for imaging at 145 minutes post injection, that it would safely clear the body through urinary elimination and that there were very low dose accumulations in major organs.

source: Siemens


Aurora® Dedicated Breast MRI System Receives rt image Most Valuable Product Award

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aurora Imaging Technology Inc. today announced that the Aurora® 1.5Tesla Dedicated Breast MRI System was selected as the Most Valuable Product (MVP) in the MRI category by rt image magazine. Developed to recognize the products and services that greatly influence today’s radiology profession, the first-ever MVP awards incorporated 48 nominees in 10 categories, acknowledging the winners for their innovation, practicality and usefulness in the field. The 10 rt image MVPs, including the Aurora Breast MRI, are featured in rt image, the only national, weekly radiology magazine.

“rt image is excited to debut the Most Valuable Products in radiology and medical imaging, particularly because the awards are based upon the nomination and responses of radiology professionals in the field,” said Heather Koitzsch, publisher of rt image. “As radiology professionals working in the field every day, our readers are in the perfect position to tell us which products are helping them advance health care. Our goal with the Most Valuable Product Award is to provide credibility and recognition to these tried-and-true products so that other readers can benefit from them.”

The Aurora Breast MRI is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared dedicated breast MRI system specifically designed for the detection, diagnosis and management of breast disease.

source: Business Wire


Cancer risk from cardiac CT overstated: researchers say

Radiology and cardiovascular researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., today presented new data that shows the risk of cancer from exposure to radiation during computed tomography for cardiovascular disease has been overstated and that new estimates are several times lower than previously published conclusions. The MUSC researchers presented their findings at the American Heart Association's meeting in New Orleans.

In previously published studies, different researchers concluded the risk of cancer from radiation exposure during CT for cardiovascular disease was approximately 1 in 114, but the new study suggests the risk is 1 in 1000.

U. Joseph Schoepf, MD, and colleagues from MUSC, claim previous studies assessing lifetime risks of cancer from radiation in cardiac CT are based on unreliable models of patients who undergo CT for cardiovascular disease.

source: Physorg.com


Toshiba CT Ranks Number One by MD Buyline for Sixth Year

TUSTIN, Calif., Nov 05, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- As a testament to its customer service approach and competitive product portfolio, MD Buyline customers have ranked Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. number one in the very competitive CT category, marking the sixth consecutive year that Toshiba has achieved this top ranking. Toshiba's Aquilion(R) CT product line received a 9.0 rating, up from 8.7 last quarter.

"We've taken many steps to better serve the needs of our customers," explained Cathy Wolfe, director, Marketing Services, Toshiba. "Our objective is to collect customer feedback, understand that feedback and make changes to our process by focusing on our customers' needs across all products with the intention of strengthening our customer relationships."

In addition to customer service, another reason Toshiba's Aquilion CT line is consistently ranked number one by its customers is the proprietary and industry leading Quantum Advantage detector technology, offering 0.5 mm isotropic detector row thickness for all Aquilion CT products. Using the same detector size for all Aquilion CT systems ensures high-quality, consistent images regardless of the number of detector rows.

source: Toshiba Medical


MRI Can Eliminate Unnecessary Surgery for Children with Suspected Musculoskeletal Infections

Pre-treatment MRI can eliminate unnecessary diagnostic or surgical procedures for children with suspected musculoskeletal infections (septic arthritis and osteomyelitis) according to a study performed at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN.

A study was performed on 130 children with suspected musculoskeletal infections; 34 patients in the study group had an MRI after diagnostic or therapeutic intervention and 96 patients in the control group had an MRI prior to any procedure. Results showed that about 60% of patients had neither septic arthritis nor osteomyelitis suggesting that “the majority of the children in the study group had a diagnostic or surgical procedure which could have been avoided with early MRI evaluation,” said J. Herman Kan, MD, lead author of the study.

source: ARRS


MRI Can Eliminate Unnecessary Surgery for Children with Suspected Musculosketal Infections

Newswise — Pre-treatment MRI can eliminate unnecessary diagnostic or surgical procedures for children with suspected musculoskeletal infections (septic arthritis and osteomyelitis) according to a study performed at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN.

A study was performed on 130 children with suspected musculoskeletal infections; 34 patients in the study group had an MRI after diagnostic or therapeutic intervention and 96 patients in the control group had an MRI prior to any procedure. Results showed that about 60% of patients had neither septic arthritis nor osteomyelitis suggesting that “the majority of the children in the study group had a diagnostic or surgical procedure which could have been avoided with early MRI evaluation,” said J. Herman Kan, MD, lead author of the study.

Dr. Kan noted that MRI is not routinely performed prior to treatment because of concerns regarding time and treatment delay and patient sedation.

source: Newswise


Cone-Beam CT: Just as Useful as MDCT Before and After Percutaneous Vertebroplasty

Cone-beam CT which is believed to deliver less radiation than MDCT is just as useful when evaluating patients before and after percutaneous vertebroplasty according to a study performed at the Department of Clinical Radiology, Kyushu University, Fukoka, Japan. Percutaneous vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive cement augmentation technique to relieve pain in the back that is non-responsive to conservative treatment.

The study included 22 patients who had osteoporotic compression fractures and underwent percutaneous vertebroplasty for treatment. During the study cone-beam CT and MDCT were performed on all patients before and after percutaneous vertebroplasty. Before vertebroplasty, all 75 cortical defects seen on MDCT were also observed on cone-beam CT with 100% sensitivity and specificity. After vertebroplasty, MDCT found cement leakages in 17 disk spaces, 15 paravertebral soft tissues and 12 veins; cone-beam CT identified all cement leakages.

source: ARRS

Mayo Clinic's New Imaging Technology Accurately Identifies a Broad Spectrum of Liver Disease

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A new study shows that an imaging technology developed by Mayo Clinic researchers can identify liver fibrosis with high accuracy and help eliminate the need for liver biopsies. Liver fibrosis is a common condition that can lead to incurable cirrhosis if not treated in time.

The technology, called magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), produces color-coded images known as elastograms that indicate how internal organs, muscles and tissues would feel to the touch. Red is the stiffest; purple, the softest. Other imaging techniques do not provide this information.

"Knowing the liver's elasticity or stiffness is invaluable in diagnosing liver disease," says Jayant Talwalkar, M.D., M.P.H., a Mayo Clinic hepatologist and co-investigator on the study. "A healthy liver is very soft, while a liver with early disease begins to stiffen. A liver with cirrhosis, advanced liver disease, can be rock hard."

source: Mayo Clinic


Mednovus Ferromagnetic Detection Systems Now Available Through Siemens Medical

Leucadia, CA, October 30, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Mednovus, Inc., has teamed with Siemens Medical Solutions’ Accessory Division for the distribution of the Mednovus SAFESCAN® hand-held Target Scanner™ and pass-through MRI Sentinel® ferromagnetic detection systems.

Siemens, one of the world leaders in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology, is now featuring the Mednovus MRI ferromagnetic screening products in their catalogue of MRI accessories.

The Mednovus products, designed to help identify materials that can be drawn toward an MRI’s magnet with life-threatening force, are a critical part of pre-screening patients, visitors, and staff before they approach the MRI system.

Ferromagnetic detection systems, such as the Mednovus products, have been recommended by accrediting bodies, such as the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Joint Commission, patient safety groups and industry experts in MRI safety.

source: Press Release


West VA University Study Calls for New Method of Stroke Diagnosis

MORGANTOWN, W. Va., Oct 29, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A study conducted by a team of stroke experts from the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center demonstrates that CT (computed tomography) perfusion imaging may dramatically improve stroke diagnosis. The study showed CT perfusion had 100 percent accuracy for detecting the large, devastating type of stroke. If adopted, this advancement in stroke detection will mean dramatically faster diagnosis time -- less than half the time of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening -- and will enable physicians to provide more accurate and targeted care, thereby avoiding potentially life-threatening complications that can occur when "clot buster" (thrombolytic) drug therapy is used inappropriately.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year, 780,000 Americans will fall victim to stroke and, sadly, more than 150,000 lives will be lost. The cost associated with stroke care is estimated to be $65 million and growing.

source: MarketWatch


FDA advisory panel today with Bayer, GE Healthcare on imaging biomarkers in Alzheimer’s will affect disease modification drug trials

Bayer, GE Healthcare and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals will meet with the FDA advisory panel today to discuss the development of new imaging markers for use in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The Advisory Committee Meeting is aimed at providing specific recommendations based on clinical utility towards the design of Phase III diagnostic imaging studies in AD.

Two defining features of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain are amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, or tau. The plaques contain a protein called amyloid-beta, while the tangles are made of a protein called tau. The current, widely accepted amyloid hypothesis traces Alzheimer’s to plaque deposits, whereas the tau hypothesis links the disease to protein abnormalities.

There are some key concerns before approval of these imaging agents, several key opinion leaders said, including the validation of the binding properties of these new imaging agents to beta-amyloid, a key structural hallmark of this neurological disorder.

source: Financial Times


New MRI Technique May Identify Cervical Cancer Early

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a special vaginal coil, a technique to measure the movement of water within tissue, researchers may be able to identify cervical cancer in its early stages, according to a new study being published in the November issue of Radiology.

The new technique offers better imaging of smaller tumors and may also improve surgical options when fertility-sparing procedures are being considered.

"Small lesions are often difficult to image, but imaging their full extent is important in surgical planning," said study author Nandita deSouza, F.R.C.R., professor and co-director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research Group at The Institute of Cancer Research in London, U.K. "By adding this technique to image the diffusion, or movement, of water within tissue, we can improve the accuracy of detecting small tumors."

source: RSNA


Innovation and Integration Unite. Siemens Molecular CT Takes the Lead in the Evolution of Diagnostic Imaging

MUNICH, Germany, Oct 13, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Biograph mCT integrates HDA-PET technology with premium CT for faster scans, better diagnostic confidence and greater patient comfort
Continuing its leadership in molecular imaging innovation, Siemens Healthcare ( www.siemens.com/healthcare) introduces Biograph mCT at the European Association of Nuclear Medicine conference in Munich, Germany. Biograph mCT is the only integrated imaging device to offer routine, whole-body PET scanning in just five minutes, and enables both molecular imaging and radiology to take advantage of its large bore capacity, ultra high-definition technology, combining HDA-PET and time-of-flight, and advanced CT capabilities with up to 128 slices, a first in integrated imaging.

"Siemens is pleased to offer a powerful new platform in integrated imaging today," said Michael Reitermann, chief executive officer, Molecular Imaging, Siemens Healthcare. "For institutions looking for cutting-edge technology, the greatest level of patient care and maximum return on investment, Biograph mCT offers the complete solution: PET with unlimited CT capabilities, CT with 'molecular resolution,' and all of a customer's molecular imaging and radiology needs in one system."

source: Marketwatch


Luna Innovations Receives Funding for Brain Cancer Diagnostic Agent Using Nanotechnology

(ROANOKE, VA, Oct 7, 2008) Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA) announces an award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve the detection and diagnosis of brain tumors. Under this program, Luna will adapt its exclusive contrast agent technology using carbon nanospheres to produce an improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agent. This next-generation contrast agent will be designed to enhance tumor imaging and advance the diagnosis and treatment of this disease by directing nanomolecules to seek out specific biological targets, such as a glioblastoma tumor, one specific form of brain cancer.

MRI is critical for the diagnosis and evaluation of many forms of brain and other cancers. "Primary malignant brain tumors cause 13,000 deaths in the United States annually and survival rates following therapeutic intervention are among the lowest compared to other cancers,” stated Robert Lenk, President of Luna’s nanoWorks division. “The work we are doing with NIH allows us the opportunity to build on our existing contrast agent platform of carbon nanomedicines and ultimately improve the detection and diagnosis of these high risk brain tumors."

source: Luna Innovatons


Medicare Panel Doubts Effectiveness of PET Scans for Broader Cancer Detection

by Astrid Fiano, Writer

A U.S. Medicare Advisory panel on Evidence Development and Coverage has determined that the current clinical data for nine conditionally approved cancer indications of Fluoro-D-Glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET), are too ambivalent to lift current restrictions and support further Medicare coverage.

The panel convened on August 20, 2008 to focus on the oncologic indications of FDG PET for nine cancers (brain, cervical, small cell lung, ovarian, pancreatic, testicular, prostate, bladder and kidney). The panel reviewed the scientific evidence of the impact of PET as part of a management strategy to improve patient-centered outcomes. The panel also considered data generated in accordance with a prior national coverage determination to cover PET for specified cancers.

source: DOTmed News


Breast MRI scan could determine need for radiation therapy

SEATTLE -- For women whose breast cancer has spread to their lymph nodes, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan could replace exploratory surgery as the method for determining whether those women need radiation therapy to treat their disease, according to a study to be presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) which opens today in Boston.

In a retrospective study of 167 patients who underwent radiation therapy for invasive breast cancer after surgical staging of their tumors, physician researchers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center found that the tumors' physiological information shown on MRI scans correlated with surgically based findings of cancer having spread to lymph nodes. This suggests that breast MRI could help determine if women scheduled to undergo surgery will later need radiation therapy and how much.

source: Seattle Cancer Sare Alliance


CT Scans Change Treatment Plans in More Than a Quarter of ER Patients with Suspected Appendicitis

CT scans change the initial treatment plans of emergency physicians in over ¼ of patients with suspected appendicitis, according to a study performed at the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.

During the study 100 adult patients admitted to the ER for symptoms of appendicitis were evaluated. The treatment plans of these patients were assessed before and after CT and compared. Results showed that “treatment plans changed in 29% of patients as a result of CT. In many instances, CT ruled out appendicitis when the treatment plan prior to the scan was surgical consultation, eliminating the potential for unnecessary surgery on patients with a normal appendix,” according to Robert O. Nathan, MD, lead author of the study.

“The data suggest that CT can be withheld in patients in whom emergency clinicians rate the likelihood of appendicitis as unlikely but that CT findings are often of benefit when appendicitis is judged to be very likely,” said Dr. Nathan.

source: ARRS


Preventing Infection in MRI

Healthcare- and community- associated infections are a major and growing
problem in the United States as well as throughout the world.
Healthcare associated infections (HAI’s) constitute a major public health
problem in the United States affecting 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients
annually, resulting in approximately 2 million cases of HAI’s , 90,000 deaths
and adding $4.5 to $5.7 billion in healthcare costs1,2.

Most patients with serious infections typically have some type of imaging
procedure performed during the course of their treatment. Radiology
departments and outpatient imaging centers must take appropriate action to
assure patients that their MRI scanner is not a significant hub for
microorganisms capable of causing infectious diseases. However, for a
multitude of reasons, MRI suites often lack the most basic of safeguards
against infection, where, due to its unique environment, it is extremely
difficult to implement and maintain an effective infection control policy.
Because of the dangers from extremely strong magnetic fields 3, as
demonstrated by a well-publicized patient death from an accident in an MRI
4,5, housekeeping staff and most cleaning equipment are usually prohibited
from entering the MRI suite. The resultant lack of thorough cleaning was
clearly demonstrated in a recent study from Ireland that cultured MRSA
from within the bore of the MRI system6.

complete article and video at: Patient Comfort Systems


GE Healthcare Unveils Signa MRI Oncology Package at ASTRO

BOSTON, SEPTEMBER 21, 2008 – GE Healthcare is launching today its new Signa Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Oncology Package at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 50th annual meeting in Boston.

The Signa MRI Oncology Package, a dedicated oncology solution, enhances magnetic resonance imaging for radiation therapy planning and is compatible with the most widely used GE MRI systems. The package consists of a detachable flat-surface patient table with indexed edges, flexible surface coils for high resolution imaging and treatment positioning aids.

“MRI is widely considered the modality of choice for imaging brain, spine and other soft tissue tumors,” said Bryan Van Meter, MRI global marketing manager for surgical and radiation oncology at GE Healthcare. “We are committed to providing radiation oncologists and cancer centers with the tools to easily integrate high-definition MRI imaging into their treatment plans.”

source: GE Healthcare


Siemens Announces Study Results of New Imaging Biomarker

Moving personalized medicine from promise to practice, Siemens Healthcare (www.siemens.com/healthcare) announces the early study findings of a new imaging biomarker for hypoxic tumors. The study, done in collaboration with Dr. Jian Q. (Michael) Yu, and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, was presented today at the World Molecular Imaging Conference in Nice, France. This imaging biomarker is intended for exclusive world wide distribution by PETNET Solutions, a fully owned Siemens subsidiary.

The results of the safety study indicated that HX4, a new imaging biomarker developed at Siemens Molecular Imaging Biomarker Research, is safe for use in human positron emission tomography (PET) imaging studies. The study included initial human data regarding bio-distribution of the new agent, radiation dosimetry levels in normal volunteers and optimal patient imaging parameters with PET. Results of the study indicated that the compound was found to be stable for imaging at 145 minutes post injection, that it would safely clear the body through urinary elimination and that there were very low dose accumulations in major organs.

source: Siemens Healthcare

Medicsight Announces American College of Radiology Imaging Network ("ACRIN") Trial Shows CT Colonography Now an Option for Colon Cancer Screening

NEW YORK, Sept 23, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Medicsight PLC, a subsidiary of MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (Amex: MGT), and an industry leader in the development of Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) and image analysis software, today announced that the National U.S. Computerized Tomography (CT) Colonography Trial (ACRIN study 6664), shows CT colonography was able to detect 90% of asymptomatic patients with colonic polyps or cancers of 10mm and larger, compared with the gold standard examination of optical colonoscopy. The results are expected to lead to wider adoption of CT colonography (also known as CTC) as a routine screening examination for colorectal cancer.

David Sumner, CEO of Medicsight, commented: "We are delighted with the results of this study, which confirms our belief in CTC as a non-invasive alternative to optical colonoscopy for the screening of colon cancer. The level of sensitivity that can be achieved for the detection of polyps is extremely high, and because of its non-invasive nature we believe there will be a greater uptake of this type of screening in the future for those at greatest risk of developing colon cancer. CTC will undoubtedly improve the diagnostic and treatment options of patients with this devastating disease. We predict that Medicsight's ColonCAD product will be a direct beneficiary of this trend towards utilizing CTC as the colon cancer screening modality of choice."

source: MGT


Results Of The National CT Colonography Trial Raise Questions For Patients

Results of the National CT Colonography Trial, published in the September 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, show improvements in the technology's ability to diagnose intermediate- to large-sized polyps in the colon, but this method of testing is not as effective in diagnosing small polyps. CT colonography is one of several colorectal cancer screening options. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) encourages patients to speak to their doctor about the screening method that is best for them.

"Colorectal cancer is largely preventable and curable when diagnosed in its early stages. Screening saves lives. Unfortunately, far too few people undergo screening for colorectal cancer. Any advances that result in increased screening of the population are encouraging," said ASGE President John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE. "The results of this trial may prompt those who otherwise would have avoided being tested, to get screened for colorectal cancer. With so many different options to screen for colorectal cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor and discuss which screening method is best for you. Each screening option has appropriate applications and limitations."

source: Medical News Today


PET Scans Lead to Treatment Changes in Majority of Colorectal Cancer Patients

Reston, Va.—In the largest multi-institutional study to date examining the impact of positron emission tomography (PET) in changing disease management of individuals with suspected recurrent colorectal cancer, researchers found that treatment plans were changed for more than half of patients, according to an article in the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

The study was conducted at four sites throughout Australia and comprised 191 patients who were divided into two groups. Group A consisted of symptomatic patients who had residual structural lesions suspicious for recurrent tumor after initial therapy. Group B comprised patients with pulmonary or hepatic metastases that were potentially operable. These results were compared with findings from conventional imaging (such as computed tomography or CT), and participants were followed for 12 months.



PTB Unites Magnetic Resonance And Radar Technology In One Prototype

Don't move a muscle! Patients certainly have to take this request to heart if they have to lie in a magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) device otherwise movement artefacts result on the images produced by the MRT. These are distorting elements in the image which show the movement of the body, but not the body itself. Movement is a disturbing factor which leads to blurring and "ghosting" in the MRT image. Patients, however, have to have not only a lot of patience but also endurance, as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test can take up to 30 minutes. But even if the patient does not move once during the whole time, movement artefacts cannot be ruled out. Some parts of the body are always moving for example the lungs expand when you breathe in and the chest goes up and down. The movement of the heart muscle also leads to distortions in the image as it changes shape during the pumping cycle. With the aid of an ultra-broadband radar device, these vital movements during measurement can be taken into consideration and the MRI measurements can be corrected. The joint use of both technologies is being tested with the aid of a prototype developed at the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, Germany's national metrology institute), which arose in co-operation with Ilmenau University of Technology. This project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, the German Research Foundation) in the frame of a priority programme running for six years.

source: Medical News Today


Routine Use Of MRI Scans To Evaluate Breast Cancer Challenged By Study

A new study suggests women with newly-diagnosed breast cancer who receive an MRI after their diagnosis face delays in starting treatment and are more likely to receive a mastectomy. The study, presented at the 2008 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium, also shows that despite lack of evidence of their benefit, the routine use of MRI scans in women newly diagnosed increased significantly between 2004 and 2005, and again in 2006.

"We have yet to see any evidence that MRI improves outcomes when used routinely to evaluate breast cancer, and yet more and more women are getting these scans with almost no discernable pattern," said Richard J. Bleicher, M.D., F.A.C.S., a specialist in breast cancer surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "For most women, an MRI scan prior to treatment is unnecessary. MRI can be of benefit because it's more sensitive, but with the high number of false positives and costs associated with the test, more studies are needed to determine whether MRI can improve outcomes in women with breast cancer."

source: Medical News Today


3T MRI Leads to Better Diagnosis for Focal Epilepsy

3T MRI is better at detecting and characterizing structural brain abnormalities in patients with focal epilepsy than 1.5T MRI, leading to a better diagnosis and safer treatment of patients, according to a recent study conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. “Patients with focal epilepsy have recurrent seizures that result from a specific area of their brain, usually due to a structural brain abnormality,” said Bronwyn E. Hamilton, MD, senior author of the study.

3T MRI detected 65 of 74 cases, compared to 55 of 74 cases detected by 1.5T MRI; lesions were accurately characterized in 63 of 74 cases using 3T MRI, compared to 51 of 74 cases using 1.5T MRI. “Detection refers to lesions that were found and characterization refers to how accurately we were able to determine what type of abnormality the lesion was, such as tumor versus vascular malformation versus congenital deformity,” said Dr. Hamilton.

soyrce: ARRS

Study Finds Portable CT Significantly Reduces Cost and Improves Care of ICU Patients

DANVERS, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a Cleveland Clinic study published in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Healthcare Radiology Administrators, NeuroLogica’s CereTom® Portable Head/Neck multi-slice CT Scanner was found to have a dramatic economic and clinical benefit while imaging Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.

The study, conducted by Thomas Masaryk M.D., Department Chair of Diagnostic Radiology at Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues, concluded that portable head/neck CT scanning:

1. Provided significant savings in terms of cost and time while providing clinicians with diagnostic images equivalent to that of their fixed full body scanners

2. Allowed the fixed conventional scanner to be dedicated for a greater number of outpatient studies by eliminating the bottleneck of time-intensive ICU patients

3. Eliminated clinical dangers associated with the transport of critically ill patients

The researchers based their results on 502 scans performed on ICU patients over a 4 month period.

source: Business Wire


More MRI and CT machines, more exams performed (Canada)

August 21, 2008—The supply of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scanners in Canada increased significantly over four years, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Medical Imaging in Canada, 2007 reports that in 2007, there were 419 CT scanners and 222 MRI machines installed and operational in Canada, up from 325 and 149, respectively, in 2003. In the most recent year, between 2006 and 2007, the number of CT scanners increased by 27 and the number of MRI scanners increased by 21. The rate of MRI and CT exams performed per 1,000 population in Canada rose by 43% and 28%, respectively, in the four years between 2003 and 2007, and rose by 4% and 5%, respectively, in the most recent year.

Despite the increases, Canada, with 12 CT scanners and 6 MRI machines per million population, falls below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) median of 15 CT scanners and 7 MRI machines per million population in 2005, the latest year for which data are available. There were 103 CT exams per 1,000 people performed in Canada in 2007, less than the rate performed in both the United States (207) and Belgium (138), but higher than the rate in Sweden (89), Spain (57), England (54) and Denmark (34). In comparison, Canada’s rate of MRI exams per 1,000 population (31) was higher than that in England (25), Spain (21) and Denmark (17), and lower than in the U.S. (89), Belgium (43) and Sweden (39).

source: Canadian Institute for Health Information


Carnegie Mellon Scientists Develop MRI Technology That

PHILADELPHIA—Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) isn't just for capturing detailed images of the body's anatomy. Thanks to novel imaging reagents and technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University scientist Eric Ahrens, MRI can be used to visualize — with "exquisite" specificity — cell populations of interest in the living body. The ability to non-invasively locate and track cells, such as immune cells, will greatly aid the study and treatment of cancer, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, as well as provide a tool for advancing clinical translation of the emerging field of cellular regenerative medicine, by tracking stem cells for example.

Ahrens will present his research on this new approach, called fluorocarbon labeling, Thursday, Aug. 21 at the 236th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

"With our technology we can image specific cells in real-time with exquisite selectivity, which allows us to track their location and movement and to count the apparent number of cells present. We then use conventional MRI to obtain a high-resolution image that places the labeled cells in their anatomical context," said Ahrens, an associate professor of biological sciences at the Mellon College of Science.

source: Carnegie Mellon University


Draeger Fabius MRI Receives FDA Clearance To Provide Advanced Anesthesia Technology In The MR Environment

Draeger Medical, Inc. announced that the Draeger Fabius MRI anesthesia machine has received FDA clearance. The newest member to the family of Draeger anesthesia machines is designed specifically to meet the requirements for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) environment.

The Fabius MRI is designed for use with 1.5T and 3.0T MRI systems. An integrated Teslameter provides an acoustic alarm if the Fabius MRI is positioned within a field strength greater than 40mTesla (400 Gauss).

The Fabius MRI employs the same user interface as Draeger's Fabius GS, Fabius Tiro and Apollo machines, creating a uniform and consistent interface for the anesthesia provider wherever anesthesia is required. The size of the MRI system often requires the anesthesia provider to be outside the room or some distance away from the device during an examination. To accommodate this, additional optical alarm displays (LEDs) at the top of the system provide visual indication for all alarm conditions for the safety of the patient in this specialized environment.

source: Draeger


Landmark Study Leads To Concern Over The Safety And Cleanliness Of MRIs

Peter Rothschild, M.D., renowned Radiologist and MRI expert, has released the ground-breaking paper, recently published on AuntMinnie.com, titled "Preventing Infection in MRI: Best Practices for Infection Control in and Around MRI Suites." This article expands on the issue that MRIs are often not being properly cleaned, thus leading to concern over Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) spread during radiological scans, in particular MRI.

MRSA was originally identified in 1961 and is now widespread throughout healthcare facilities, both hospital and outpatient settings. The most common source for transmission of MRSA is by direct or indirect contact with people who have MRSA infections or are asymptomatic carriers.

source: Medical News Today


GE Healthcare Recognizes First Magnetic Resonance Imaging System To Receive Ecomagination Certification

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), announced its Signa HDe 1.5T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system as the first medical imaging product from GE Healthcare to be recognized as an ecomagination offering after completing the company's rigorous internal environmental and operational evaluation, recognizing it as one of the most energy efficient 1.5T MRI systems commercially available.

Ecomagination is GE's commitment to imagine and build innovative technologies that help customers address their environmental and financial needs, such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy. The Signa HDe 1.5T was recognized as an ecomagination product on the basis of energy savings, as well as operating benefits. Compared to the average 1.5T MRI system, the GE Signa HDe 1.5T is designed to use over 20% less space, increasing siting flexibility.

source: GE Healthcare

MEDRAD Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance For Wireless MR Infusion System

MEDRAD, INC., announced that the wireless version of its Continuum MR Infusion System has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance.

The new Continuum Wireless MR Infusion System enables the clinician to control a patient's medication infusion during a magnetic resonance (MR) procedure from both inside and outside the scan room. When changes are needed, including flow rate, bolus, or to start or stop the infusion altogether, clinicians can control these parameters without interrupting the MRI scan with a new wireless remote display featuring a color touch screen. This option will increase workflow efficiencies and throughput while enhancing clinician confidence by enabling easy selection from up to nine IV stands, minimizing scan interruptions due to infusion changes and displaying all infusion parameters.

source: Medical News Today


GE Healthcare Recognizes First Magnetic Resonance Imaging System To Receive Ecomagination Certification

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), announced its Signa HDe 1.5T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system as the first medical imaging product from GE Healthcare to be recognized as an ecomagination offering after completing the company's rigorous internal environmental and operational evaluation, recognizing it as one of the most energy efficient 1.5T MRI systems commercially available.

Ecomagination is GE's commitment to imagine and build innovative technologies that help customers address their environmental and financial needs, such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy. The Signa HDe 1.5T was recognized as an ecomagination product on the basis of energy savings, as well as operating benefits. Compared to the average 1.5T MRI system, the GE Signa HDe 1.5T is designed to use over 20% less space, increasing siting flexibility.

source: GE Healthcare


Conventional MRI And Computer Analysis Could Be Used To Detect Alzheimer's

Researchers using conventional, as opposed to high powered MRI equipment, and computer- based methods to analyze the scans, are breaking new ground in the diagnosis of the telltale signs of Alzheimer's Disease, increasing the likelihood that there will be reliable ways of diagnosing the disease non-invasively and before it is too late to do something about it.

Three studies, one on successful use of conventional MRI to image brain plaques in animals, and two on using computers to analyze MRI images, are being presented at the Alzheimer's Association's 2008 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD 2008), which is taking place in Chicago from 26th to 31st July.

source: Medical News Today


Positive Phase I Safety Results for BFPET

FluoroPharma Inc., a company developing breakthrough molecular imaging agents for the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) market, announced positive Phase I results for BFPET, its novel Fluorine-18 labeled tracer for myocardial perfusion imaging.

BFPET is FluoroPharma’s second cardiovascular product to complete Phase I clinical development.BFPET is a PET imaging agent, designed to assess the blood flow in the heart (myocardial perfusion). Myocardial perfusion imaging is a standard test to assess coronary artery disease (CAD), with more than 9 million Americans undergoing the test annually. The Phase I trial, led by Principal Investigator Alan J. Fischman, MD, PhD at the Massachusetts General Hospital, was designed to evaluate safety, distribution and dosimetry of BFPET in 12 healthy subjects following a single dose injection at rest.

“BFPET Phase I data demonstrates that the agent has a favorable dosimetry and pharmacokinetics profile and is well tolerated. All safety endpoints were achieved with no adverse events and no clinically significant changes noted in follow-up clinical and laboratory testing”, said Dr. Fischman, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. “Biodistribution results indicate fast blood clearance, rapid and stable myocardial uptake and high heart to background ratios.”

source: Fluoropharma


Heart Scan with Lower Dosage Possible Using Dual-Source CT

MALVERN, Pa., July 17, 2008 – A new study reveals that, with dual-source computed tomography (DSCT), the effective dosage for a heart examination can be significantly lowered, in comparison to conventional computed tomography. The study also demonstrated that stenoses can be diagnosed with similar high accuracy as with invasive X-ray angiography.

At the University Hospital Zürich in Switzerland, 120 patients with suspected coronary heart disease were scanned with the world’s first CT scanner with two X-ray tubes, a SOMATOM® Definition from Siemens Healthcare (www.siemens.com/healthcare). The Siemens application, Adaptive Cardio Sequence with the step-and-shoot mode, was also used for the first time with a dual-source CT. The results of the study were published in the June issue of Heart, the official journal of the British Cardiovascular Society.*

source: Siemens Healthcare


Cost-Effectiveness Of 64-Slice CT Scanner In Emergency Department Chest Pain Patients Shown By Study

A recent study led by Rahul Khare, MD, emergency department physician and assistant director of operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of utilizing a CT scanner to evaluate low-risk chest pain patients in the emergency room. The study results which are published in the July issue of Academic Emergency Medicine show that using a 64-slice CT scanner is more cost-effective than the current standard of care for evaluating and diagnosing this patient population, which includes an overnight stay in the observation unit and cardiac stress testing.

Chest pain is the most common emergency department complaint in patients 50 years and older, and has a variety of potential causes. A commonly missed and difficult to diagnose cause of chest pain is coronary artery disease. "When patients arrive at the emergency department with chest pain, my goal as an emergency physician is to identify any life threatening conditions and treat the patient promptly. Currently it is a challenge to identify chest pain patients with significant coronary artery disease in a timely and cost-effective manner," says Dr. Khare, who is also an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

source: Medical News Today


ACR's Guidelines For CT Colonography Interpretation Examined In Study At Digestive Disease Week

A study presented at Digestive Disease Week® 2008 examined the American College of Radiology's (ACR) CT colonography guidelines recommending that polyps ≤ 5mm in size not be reported on CT colonography by applying them to an endoscopic database that collected information about polyps that had been removed and processed. The guidelines also recommend that patients with one or two polyps 6 to 9 mm in size and no larger polyps can have repeat CT colonography in three years rather than prompt polypectomy. The database included information for 10,780 polyps removed from 5,079 patients (among 10,034 colonoscopies) over a five-year interval. Overall, the study determined that if CT colonography rather than colonoscopy had been used in this population, and assuming 100 percent sensitivity of CT colonography for polyps ≥ 6 mm and ACR interpretation recommendations, then 29 percent of all patients and 30 percent of patients over age 50 with high risk adenoma findings would have been interpreted as normal.

source: Medical News Today


Portable Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging is one of the most important imaging methods used in medicine. However, MRI scanning has one major disadvantage: The machines are huge and extremely expensive, and almost impossible to transport.

The Magnetic Resonance working group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technology Engineering IBMT in Sankt Ingbert has made magnetic resonance imaging mobile. They collaborated with the New Zealand company Magritek to develop small portable devices. Dr. Frank Volke, head of the Magnetic Resonance working group, explains the core technology: "Instead of the large superconducting magnets that have to be cooled with liquid helium and nitrogen, extra-strong permanent magnets are installed in our devices. There is no need for cooling anymore." To make this possible, several permanent magnets are so arranged that the magnetic field lines overlap to form a homogeneous field. In this way, the developers have succeeded in developing small, less expensive, and above all portable magnetic resonance spectrometers that can even be powered by batteries.

source: Medical News Today


UVA Physicist Wins International Award for Novel MRI Technique

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, June 30, 2008 - A researcher at the University of Virginia Health System, Chengbo Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of Radiology, has received the prestigious W.S. Moore Young Investigator Award for Clinical Science from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). Wang was chosen for his research in developing a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that - for the first time ever - identified microscopic structural damages deep in the lungs of patients with asthma.

"The award committee received a record number of applications this year, and Dr. Wang's work stood out for its innovative approach and excellent presentation," says Dr. Vivian Lee, president of ISMRM.

source: University of Virginia Health System


New Study Finds Coronary Arterial Calcium Scans Help Detect Overall Death Risk In The Elderly

Measuring calcium deposits in the heart's arteries can help predict overall death risk in American adults, even when they are elderly, according to a new study published in the July issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., one of the study's authors and a researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed), said previous studies had found measuring coronary arterial calcium with computed tomography (CT) heart scans could predict overall death risks in most American adults.

source: Medical News Today


Earlier Alzheimer's Diagnosis With Automated MRI Technique

An automated system for measuring brain tissue with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help physicians more accurately diagnose Alzheimer's disease at an earlier stage according to a new study published in the July issue of the journal Radiology.

In Alzheimer's disease, nerve cell death and tissue loss cause all areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus region, to shrink. MRI with high spatial resolution allows radiologists to visualize subtle anatomic changes in the brain that signal atrophy, or shrinkage. But the standard practice for measuring brain tissue volume with MRI, called segmentation, is a complicated, lengthy process.

source: Medical News Today


NIST/NIH Micromagnets Show Promise as Colorful ‘Smart Tags’ for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

BOULDER, Colo.—Customized microscopic magnets that might one day be injected into the body could add color to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while also potentially enhancing sensitivity and the amount of information provided by images, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) report. The new micromagnets also could act as “smart tags” identifying particular cells, tissues, or physiological conditions, for medical research or diagnostic purposes.

As described in the June 19 issue of Nature,* the NIST and NIH investigators have demonstrated the proof of principle for a new approach to MRI. Unlike the chemical solutions now used as image-enhancing contrast agents in MRI, the NIST/NIH micro-magnets rely on a precisely tunable feature—their physical shape—to adjust the radio-frequency (RF) signals used to create images. The RF signals then can be converted into a rainbow of optical colors by computer. Sets of different magnets designed to appear as different colors could, for example, be coated to attach to different cell types, such as cancerous versus normal. The cells then could be identified by tag color.

source: NIST News Release


New MRI/Radiology Blindfold No Metal

Toms River, NJ - June 16, 2008 -- Terry Weber of Originals By Weber announces immediate availability of their new MRI Safe Blindfold examination mask; it is specifically designed with no metal parts for use during MRI and Radiology examinations of patients. The mask, made of disposable lightweight, non-toxic black foam with an adjustable elastic strap,(one size fits all) is comfortable to wear and low in cost. Mask can be used once and discarded or, with an optional Tissue Liner inserted between inside of mask and patient's face, basic mask can be re-used by many patients by simply replacing the used tissues with a new Tissue Pack (5-tissues in each pack). These Tissue Liners make the mask re-usable because they keep the inside of the mask always clean, fresh and sanitary. Another available option is Weber's new Washable Liner to keep inside of mask clean.

source: Conservative Voice


iCAD Initiates Clinical Study of Its Virtual Colonoscopy CAD In Partnership With ACR Image Metrix

iCAD, Inc. (NASDAQ: ICAD), an industry-leading provider of Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) solutions for the early identification of cancer, today announced it has initiated a clinical study for Colon CAD, its virtual colonoscopy CAD product, in partnership with ACR Image Metrix, a subsidiary of the American College of Radiology (ACR). iCAD and ACR Image Metrix, having completed the development portion of the study, are collaborating on study execution including a multi-reader, multi-case (MRMC) clinical study designed to assess the impact of Colon CAD on the accuracy of interpreting CT Colonography exams also known as virtual colonoscopies. The study will also assess the sensitivity of Colon CAD for detecting polyps and will measure the impact of iCAD’s CT Colon CAD product on interpretation and workflow.

Virtual colonoscopy offers patients a less invasive option to conventional colonic polyp detection techniques. Reviewing these images can be tedious and challenging because of the amount of information captured in a CT exam. iCAD’s colon CAD product uses sophisticated image processing analysis technology to identify polyps in images with the potential for streamlining the reading process and improving accuracy, productivity and workflow.

source: iCAD Press release


MIT Unlocks Mystery Behind Brain Imaging Star-Shaped Brain Cells Shown To Play Key Role

In work that solves a long-standing mystery in neuroscience, researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have shown for the first time that star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes-previously considered bit players by most neuroscientists-make noninvasive brain scans possible.

Imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have transformed neuroscience, providing colorful maps of brain activity in living subjects. The scans' reds, oranges, yellows and blues represent changes in blood flow and volume triggered by neural activity. But until the MIT study, reported in the June 20 issue of Science, no one knew exactly why this worked.

source: Medical News Today


CT Lung Cancer Screening No Cure-All For Smokers

Screening for lung cancer with computed tomography (CT) may help reduce lung cancer deaths in current and former smokers, but it won't protect them from other causes of death associated with smoking, according to a new study published in the July issue of the journal Radiology.

"Our study suggests that screening may be one way to reduce risk of death from lung cancer," said the study's lead author, Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., senior scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor in radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "However, the number-one goal should still be to quit smoking, because it will reduce risk of death from many causes, including lung cancer."



MRI Useful And Reliable In Surgical Planning Of Patients With Rectal Cancer

3T MRI can accurately stage, and help surgeons plan sphincter-sparing surgery in patients with rectal cancer, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Qilu Hospital of Shandong University in Shandong, China.

"Recently, MRI has been increasingly accepted by radiologists, surgeons and patients to image the rectum because of its superior soft tissue contrast and multi-planar capability," said Chuanfu Li, MD, lead author of the study. "Most rectal MRI studies have used field strength of 1.5 Tesla or less. Only two recent studies focus on 3T MRI for diagnosing and staging rectal cancer. "No standard protocol is available for 3T MRI of the rectum, which may cause inconsistent diagnostic accuracy among institutions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the image quality of various 3T MR sequences for preoperative staging and planning of sphincter sparing rectal cancer resection," he said.

source: American Roentgen Ray Society


Korean FDA Approves the CereTom� Portable CT Scanner

DANVERS, Massachusetts & SEOUL, Korea- June 4, 2008—NeuroLogica Corporation and its Korean distribution partner, Dong Kang Medical Systems Co.,Ltd., announced that the CereTom(R) has received clearance from the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) for medical capital device imaging.

“We are thrilled that the CereTom has cleared Korean FDA,” said Eric M. Bailey, CEO and President of NeuroLogica Corporation. “South Korea is one of the most innovative and medically advanced countries in Asia, we are confident that the CereTom will improve the standard of care for critically ill patients with neurological emergencies. Our distribution partner, Dong Kang, Co. has an excellent reputation at the best medical institutions in South Korea. We are pleased that they will be representing the CereTom.”

source: NeuroLogica


GE Healthcare Announces World's First High Definition CT Scanner

GE Healthcare, a global leader in imaging and in dose reduction technologies, has announced U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of the LightSpeed CT750 HD, the world's first high definition CT scanner. LightSpeed CT750 HD will set the new standard for CT clarity, delivering the vision and the tools to allow clinicians to diagnose quickly and confidently.

At its heart is the first new detector material in 20 years; one that is, quite literally, a gem. GE engineers discovered that, by changing the molecular structure of real garnets, they could develop a scintillator capable of delivering images 100 times faster, with up to 33% greater detail through the body and up to 47% greater detail in the heart. They had unlocked the secret of the proprietary GE Gemstone Detector™, boasting the fastest primary speed in the CT industry, and the driving force of the first of its kind "Gemstone Spectral Imaging" process. Gemstone Spectral Imaging uses up to 2496 views per rotation (a 2.5x increase) to deliver improved spatial resolution and improved image quality across the entire field of view.

source: Medica News Today


NOVA(R) Renal: A safe alternative to contrast enhanced MRA/MRI

CHICAGO, June 3 2008 – VasSol’s introduction of NOVA® Renal, a gadolinium-free procedure, offers a safe alternative to the standard contrast-enhanced Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans for patients suffering from renal disease. Contrast enhanced renal MRA/MRI has traditionally required the injection of a gadolinium based agent which the FDA has linked to the occurrence of a potentially life-threatening disease, Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF). NOVA® Renal provides a comprehensive evaluation of the renal arteries without contrast or ionizing radiation.

Who’s at Risk?
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in six individuals have kidney disease, threatening their renal function and putting them at greater risk when receiving a gadolinium-enhanced MRI scan.

source: VasSol


Whole Milk is Effective and Cost-Effective as Oral Contrast Agent

An item commonly found in many homes – whole milk – is just as effective, costs less and is easier on the patient than a diluted (0.1%) barium suspension that is also commonly used as an oral contrast agent in conjunction with CT to examine the gastrointestinal tract, a new study finds.

The study included 215 patients undergoing abdominal and pelvic CT, said Chi Wan Koo, MD, lead author of the study. All patients were given an IV contrast media; 115 were also given whole milk as an oral contrast agent; 100 received a 0.1% barium suspension. Two radiologists reviewed all the images and scored them based on degree of bowel distension and bowel wall visibility. Adequate bowel distension is necessary to optimize resolution of the bowel wall and contents, said Dr. Koo.

The study found that the images taken of patients who were given whole milk were just as useful as the images that were taken of patients given the diluted barium, she said.

source: ARRS


Cheaper Chest Pain Screening In Emergency Rooms Offered By New CT Technology

Eight million Americans visit U.S. emergency departments for chest pain each year. Although just five to 15 percent of them are found to be suffering from heart attacks or other cardiac diseases, more than half of these patients are admitted to the hospital for observation and further testing.

Computed tomography angiography (CTA), however, offers a way to more quickly and cost effectively identify patients at low-risk of cardiac problems like the blocked arteries that lead to heart attacks, according to the new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine research. Penn experts will present research findings that could come to define new standards of emergency diagnostics and care at this week's annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, the foremost professional society representing physicians who care for acutely ill and injured patients.

Medical News Today


Cumulative radiation exposure shows increased cancer risk for emergency department patients

According to a new study, patients are receiving estimated doses of radiation from medical diagnostic imaging studies, such as CT (or CAT) scans, that may be detrimental to their long term health, putting them at an increased risk of developing cancer. To date, emergency physicians have not been made aware of the cumulative amount of radiation that their patients receive. In fact they currently have no way to know or estimate any given patients cumulative dose. A new study hopes to quantify and further explore these concerns.

Led by Timothy B. Bullard, M.D., M.B.A of the Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), the cross-sectional study examined the amount of ionizing radiation that a random selection of patients received over a five-year period at ORMC and Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. The study is the first to estimate the total cumulative radiation dosage delivered to a population from multiple diagnostic imaging modalities during a defined period of time.

source:Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News


MRI Scans Of Body's Natural Baking Soda Detects Cancer

Researchers in the UK have developed a new method to detect cancer early by using highly sensitive MRI scans to follow the chemical breakdown of the body's naturally occurring bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda).

The study is the work of scientists at the leading charity Cancer Research UK and other colleagues and is published in the current issue of Nature.

source: Medical News Today


Increased Screening May Better Predict Those At Higher Risk For Heart Disease

Adding noninvasive imaging to current risk-assessment protocols may identify more people who are at risk of developing heart disease, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Researchers used data from the UT Southwestern-led Dallas Heart Study to determine whether using computed tomography (CT) to scan patients' hearts for calcium deposits and blockages could identify more people at high risk for heart disease and who could benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy.

The recommendations by the Screening for Heart Attack Prevention and Education (SHAPE) task force are a proposed update to the current guidelines, were updated by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) in 2004.

source: UT Southwestern


Health Protection Agency to study the health effects of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (UK)

The Chairman of the Health Protection Agency, Sir William Stewart today announced that the Agency’s Board had approved in principle the need for an epidemiological study of possible adverse health effects from high static field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines.

Sir William said: “MRI scanning has some undoubted benefits in medicine, especially as an aid to accurate clinical diagnosis. However we need to bear in mind that the magnetic fields produced by the machines are quite substantial and that these fields are increasing in order to achieve improved clarity of image. The exposures to patients and medical staff from the magnetic fields can be high and there is a shortage of information on possible adverse long term health effects. The Agency’s Board therefore considers more research is needed in this area.”

source: Health Protection Agency


MDCT Can Detect Illegal “Dissolved” Drugs

The smuggling of dissolved drugs, especially cocaine, in bottled liquids can be decreased with the use of multidetector CT (MDCT) according to a recent collaborative study conducted by researchers at the Centre for Forensic Imaging, Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern and the Federal Customs Administration (FCA), in Bern, Switzerland.

The study initially consisted of MDCT scans of three wine bottles that contained cocaine solutions that were confiscated at the Swiss Border, said Silke Grabherr, MD, lead author of the study. Once the researchers conducted the scans of the three wine bottles, they did a simulated test using 12 wine bottles with six spiked with cocaine in various concentrations ranging from 10-120 grams. MDCT accurately detected the bottles with the dissolved cocaine because cocaine shows an increase of the X-Ray attenuation, said Dr. Grabherr.

source: ARRS


Invasive Methods Unnecessary for Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy Treatment Planning

Modern 3-D computed tomography (CT) is an effective method for locating the prostatic apex for radiation therapy treatment planning in prostate cancer patients because it eliminates the need for an invasive procedure and the related side effects, according to a study in the May 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics.

Retrograde urethrography, which involves inserting a catheter into the male urethra to inject contrast, is the standard method used to identify the area of the prostate to be treated with radiation. However, this method is invasive and uncomfortable for patients and comes with risks of side effects, such as urethral injury and infection, as well as additional costs.

source: ASTRO.org


Targeting A Pathological Area Using MRI

ScienceDaily (May 19, 2008) — Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a common tool in clinical diagnosis due to the use of contrast agents, which are like colorants, enabling the contrast between healthy tissue and diseased tissue to be increased. However, the agents currently used clinically do not allow the identification of particular pathologies or of the affected area of the body. The recent work of two CNRS teams from Orleans and Gif-sur-Yvette (Orleans' Centre de biophysique moléculaire and the Institut de chimie des substances naturelles in Gif-sur-Yvette) has brought hope in this field.

source: ScienceDaily


Diagnostic Accuracy May Not Be Improved By PET Imaging In Early Head And Neck Cancer

Positron emission tomography with a radioactive tracer (18F-FDG PET) may not improve the detection of small metastases in patients with head and neck cancer who have no clinical evidence of disease in neighboring lymph nodes, according to a meta-analysis published online May 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

A key prognostic factor for head and neck squamous cell cancer patients is whether their disease has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. Unfortunately, some patients who appear clinically to be free of such metastases, referred to as cN0, actually have small metastases. Clinicians use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), commuted tomography (CT), and FDG-PET to try to detect these lesions, but strong data supporting the use of FDG-PET are lacking.

source: Medical News Today


New MRI Technique Developed at UT Southwestern Detects Subtle but Serious Brain Injury

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - DALLAS – May 12, 2008 – A new technique for analyzing magnetic resonance imaging data, developed by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, can reveal serious brain injury missed by current tests and help predict a patient’s degree of recovery.

In brain injuries sustained when the head suddenly stops moving – during a motor vehicle accident, for instance – the force can shear and damage nerve cells. This kind of injury does not show up on computerized tomography scans, the researchers said, and magnetic resonance imaging does not yet reliably detect this type of injury.

“This is a new way of measuring a common injury that has been overlooked,” said Dr. Ramón Díaz-Arrastia, professor of neurology and senior author of the paper, which appears in the May issue of the journal Archives of Neurology.

source: Health News Digest


Ultrasound First, Not CT, For Diagnosing Suspected Acute Appendicitis

Color Doppler ultrasound, not CT, should be the first imaging examination for adult patients with suspected acute appendicitis, a new study emphasizes.

The study of 420 medical records found that sonography correctly denied acute appendicitis in 303 of 312 adult patients, meaning it had a 97% specificity rate, said Diana Gaitini, MD, of Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel. "When the patient does not have acute appendicitis, the negative result of the color Doppler ultrasound examination is highly confident," she said. On the other hand, ultrasound's sensitivity rate was 74%, meaning it missed the diagnosis in 23 of 89 patients, Dr. Gaitini said. Ultrasound was inconclusive in 17 patients.

source: MedicalNewsToday


Warming up for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

BERKELEY, CA — Standard magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, is a superb diagnostic tool but one that suffers from low sensitivity, requiring patients to remain motionless for long periods of time inside noisy, claustrophobic machines. A promising new MRI method, much faster, more selective — able to distinguish even among specific target molecules — and many thousands of times more sensitive, has now been developed in the laboratory by researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.

The key to the new technique is called "temperature-controlled molecular depolarization gates." It builds on a series of previous developments in MRI and the closely related field of nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR (which instead of an image yields a spectrum of molecular information), by members of the laboratories of Alexander Pines and David Wemmer at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

source: Berkeley Lab