FONAR Expands International Reach With Sale of Upright® MRI in Australia

MELVILLE, NEW YORK, April 30, 2008 - FONAR Corporation (NASDAQ-FONR), The Inventor of MR Scanning, announced today expansion of its international reach with a sale of its unique UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI to a group medical practice in Australia.

Australia represents a large new market. Today, approximately 100 MRI scanners serve the 20 million people in The Commonwealth of Australia.

Raymond Damadian, president and founder of FONAR said, “We believe the sale in Australia is just one more indication of the enormous future of FONAR’s UPRIGHT® patented technology. Many patients have come to the United States from Australia just to be scanned on the UPRIGHT® MRI. Physicians and patients realize that they need the unique advantages of this advanced weight-bearing multi-position technology. A scan performed while the patient is lying down simply doesn’t allow physicians to see the patient’s spine and other extremities in the positions the patient experiences pain.

source: FONAR


Neuroimaging Improves Quality Of Life For Brain Tumor Patients

A new neuroimaging study at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University aims to ensure the highest quality of life for patients by assessing their cognitive skills before, during, and after brain tumour surgery. This is done by mapping the important functional brain areas surrounding the tumour in order to decrease the risks during surgery.

Brain tumour surgery requires a delicate balance between removing as much of a tumour as possible in order to ensure a patients' survival and extend life expectancy, while striving to preserve motor, sensory, and cognitive abilities (functional areas of the brain), and thus quality of life. This new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, published recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery, looks at functional neuroimaging in patients undergoing surgery for the removal of brain tumours.

source: Medical News Today


Headset Muffles Loud, Unnerving MRI Noises

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Having an MRI exam, an experience many people describe as stressful and uncomfortable, could soon become a bit more pleasant, thanks to the work of a team of University of Florida engineering students.

The students have designed a headset that shows promise of reducing the extremely loud, repetitive, industrial-like noises that accompany magnetic resonance image examinations. The noises, which range from beeping to whirring to grinding and can often be as loud as a jet engine, stem from the workings of the powerful magnets at the heart of the machines’ ability to produce sharply defined internal images of the body or body parts.

The headset would not only make the experience less off-putting, it might also reduce the number of needed exams, freeing up the machine for access by more patients, said Stephen Forguson, a senior majoring in electrical engineering.

source: University of Florida


Increase in Diagnostic Imaging Fueled by Self-Referring Doctors

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- A growing number of privately insured patients in the United States are being referred for imaging scans, and much of that increase is due to physicians who refer patients to their own facilities or machines, a new study and commentary find.

For the study, Dr. Jean M. Mitchell, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., reviewed data collected between 2000 and 2004 by a large private insurer in California and compared that analysis to a report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Both showed increased use of imaging tests for people with private insurance.

The findings were published in the current issue of Medical Care.

source: Yahoo News


Positive Results From Re-Read Of Vasovist(R) Phase 3 Images Announced By EPIX Pharmaceuticals

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, announced today it has achieved positive results from the blinded, independent re-read of images of its novel blood pool magnetic resonance angiographic (MRA) agent, Vasovist (gadofosveset trisodium). In the re-read of images obtained from previous phase 3 studies, EPIX met all pre-specified endpoints prospectively agreed to with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). EPIX plans to resubmit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA for Vasovist in mid-2008. Vasovist is currently approved for marketing in 33 countries.

There are currently no contrast agents approved in the United States for use with MRA, a non-invasive modality for imaging blood vessels. However, it is estimated that approximately 1.5 million MRAs will be conducted in the United States during 2008 using gadolinium-based products.

source: Epix Pharmaceuticals


Improving quality of life for brain tumour patients

A new neuroimaging study at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University aims to ensure the highest quality of life for patients by assessing their cognitive skills before, during, and after brain tumour surgery. This is done by mapping the important functional brain areas surrounding the tumour in order to decrease the risks during surgery.

Brain tumour surgery requires a delicate balance between removing as much of a tumour as possible in order to ensure a patients' survival and extend life expectancy, while striving to preserve motor, sensory, and cognitive abilities (functional areas of the brain), and thus quality of life. This new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, published recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery, looks at functional neuroimaging in patients undergoing surgery for the removal of brain tumours. This is done in order to localize important functional areas of the brain so that these can be preserved during the surgical procedure. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been used extensively to map sensory and motor functions, as well as to define brain regions involved in language processes but, until now, has not been applied to higher-order cognitive functions such as memory.

source: Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital


Advanced MRI Studies Provide New Insight On Early Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain affecting movement, speech, mood, behavior, thinking and sensation for which there is no known cause or cure.

Two studies from the University at Buffalo presented at the 2008 American Academy of Neurology meeting in Chicago shed new light on very early development of the disease.

The work is the result of a joint project by neurology and imaging specialists from UB, Stavanger University Hospital and University of Bergen, both in Norway.

Turi O. Dalaker, M.D., a doctoral fellow from Stavanger University Hospital who conducted the research in the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), is first author on both studies. The BNAC, housed in Kaleida Health's Buffalo General Hospital, is part of the Jacobs Neurological Institute, the Department of Neurology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

source: University at Buffalo - SUNY


Scientists find MRI better to detect heart attack

Canadian researchers have found a faster way to diagnose a heart attack.

Scientists at the University of Calgary, in conjunction with teams in Germany and Australia, have studied the use of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view heart damage. They found that cardiac MRI is quicker, and just as good at showing damage, than standard, more invasive methods that involve radiation or the injection of radioactive dyes.

Researchers explain that the water in heart tissue has magnetic properties that allow the MRI to view the muscle.

The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

source: CTV.ca


Aquilion ONE, World's First Dynamic Volume Computed Tomography Scanner With 320 Simultaneous Slices

Toshiba Medical Systems has introduced the Aquilion ONE CT scanner, a revolution in Computed Tomography (CT) technology that dramatically shortens the diagnosis of cardiac and stroke patients to a fraction of the usual time.

As the world's first dynamic volume CT, the Toshiba Aquilion ONE captures dynamic processes such as blood flow and organ function, in real-time three-dimensional (3D) clarity. With this technology, a medical exam can be completed in mere minutes, and with less radiation and contrast dose to the patient.

"The introduction of dynamic volume CT marks an important milestone in the history of computed tomography," said Yusuke Toki, General Manager, CT Division, Toshiba Medical Systems. "Aquilion ONE is the culmination of a decade of dedicated research and establishes a new frontier in CT imaging, offering advanced applications that can significantly enhance patient care while reducing the cost of healthcare worldwide."

source: MedLexicon


CT Useful and Effective When Diagnosing Patients with Large Bowel Obstruction

The use of CT is highly effective in confirming large bowel obstruction and identifying the site and cause of obstruction, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of South Manchester in Manchester, UK.

“There is very little published evidence regarding the diagnostic efficiency of CT in large bowel obstruction (LBO), said Sathi Sukumar, MD, lead author of the study. “Large bowel obstruction is a common clinical problem and plain films have been shown to be unreliable. Contrast enemas, the conventional way of investigating LBO is invasive, gives only limited information and is sometimes technically not possible and difficult to interpret,” said Dr. Sukumar.

The study consisted of 42 patients who were identified for follow-up after LBO, large bowel dilatation or pseudo-obstruction was noted. On CT, 31 patients were diagnosed with large bowel obstruction, 8 with pseudo-obstruction and 3 were indeterminate. Of the 31 cases that were diagnosed with LBO, 27 were confirmed by surgery or endoscopy.

source: ARRS

Repligen Receives FDA Fast Track Designation for RG1068 for Pancreatic Imaging

WALTHAM, MA - March 26, 2008 - Repligen Corporation (NASDAQ: RGEN) announced today that the Company has initiated a Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the use of RG1068, synthetic human secretin, to improve the assessment of pancreatic duct structures by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This Phase 3 study is a multi-center, baseline-controlled, single dose study in which approximately 250 patients will receive an unenhanced MRI followed by a secretin-enhanced MRI of the pancreas. This study is designed to assess the sensitivity and specificity of secretin-enhanced MRI to improve the ability to detect pancreatic duct abnormalities relative to MRI alone. Detailed visual assessment of the pancreatic ducts is important in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as acute and chronic pancreatitis. This study is being conducted at approximately 30 clinical sites within the United States and Canada.

source: Repligen Corporation


3T MRI Plays Significant Role in Detecting Prostate Cancer

The use of MRI without endorectal coil can detect prostate cancer and provide undistorted images with diagnostic image quality and accurate tumor localization, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

“The 3T MRI datasets were acquired without an endorectal coil and were used during robotic surgery,” said Steffen Sammet, MD, PhD, lead author of the study. “Since the use of an endorectal coil leads to deformation of the prostate and potentially altered microcirculation, our goal was to assess the capability of detecting prostate cancer areas by dynamic contrast enhanced MRI without endorectal coil at 3T validated by correlation with surgical pathology,” he said.

source: ARRS Press Release


For Detecting Endoleaks MRI Better Than MDCT

Contrast-enhanced MR imaging is significantly superior to 16 slice multidetector CT in the detection of endoleaks after endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurisms (EVAR), according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Ospedale San Giovanni in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

"Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms has become a viable alternative treatment to open surgery for many patients. Endoleak development represents a complication of endovascular aortic aneurysm repair and is characterized by blood flow outside the stent-graft lumen but within the aneurysm sac," said Rolf Wyttenbach, MD, lead author of the study. "Patients after EVAR need livelong imaging surveillance to detect endoleaks. CT is most commonly used for imaging follow-up of these patients. , A few prior studies suggested that MRI may be superior to CT for the detection of endoleaks. However, these studies mostly used single or 4-row MDCT and standard gadolinium contrast media for MR imaging," he said.

source: American Roentgen Ray Society

Unnecessary Treatment Of Some Cervical Cancer Patients Can Be Prevented By MRI And PET/CT

MRI and PET/CT can help spare patients with clinically operable cervical cancer from unnecessary high-morbidity treatment, however, pretreatment imaging does not lead to increased survival of these patients, a new study shows.

"We developed a decision-analytic model to determine the value of pretreatment imaging in the patients with stage 1B cervical cancer," said Pari Pandharipande, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and lead author of the study. "What we found was that PET/CT alone best triages patients to the correct primary therapy," she said. The percentage of patients triaged to optimal first line therapy was 89% with PET/CT, Dr. Pandharipande said. That compared to 82% with no imaging, 75% with MRI and PET/CT and 68% with MRI.

source: Medical News Today


MDCT Accurate In Detecting Stenosis In Calcified Coronary Artery Plaque

Multidetector CT angiography can accurately predict the presence of obstructive disease (stenosis) in small and moderate-sized calcified coronary artery plaque (CAP), and is even fairly accurate in diagnosing large and heavily calcified CAP, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.

The study evaluated 31 patients who had one or more calcified CAP, comparing the results from CCTA to cardiac catheterization. "It is commonly believed that when coronary artery plaque is calcified, (particularly when it is heavily calcified), MDCT is unreliable in determining the degree of stenosis," said David C. Levin, MD, lead author of the study. However, in this study CCTA and cardiac catheterization were concordant in 58 of 61 small calcified CAPs (95%), 20 of 22 moderate-sized (91%) and 29 of 43 large calcified CAPs (67%).

source: MedicalNewsToday

Extremely Low Dose CT Coronary Angiography Shows Promise In Assessing Cardiac Function

Extremely low dose CT coronary angiography can be used to measure cardiac function and has the potential for use when other commonly used examinations are limited, a preliminary study indicates.

"CT coronary angiography provides a wealth of data about cardiac structure and function; however, CT coronary angiography uses a high radiation dose and other examinations, such as echocardiography and nuclear medicine examinations, can evaluate structure and function with no or low radiation dose," said Gregory G. Gladish, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and the lead author of the study. "Our goal was to determine if we could reduce the amount of radiation in the CT examination so that it would be at the same level or lower than the level of radiation used in the nuclear medicine examination," Dr. Gladish said.

source: Medical News Today


TeraRecon, Inc. introduces Aquarius iNtuition at ITEM2008 in Yokohama, Japan

Yokohama, Japan-April 4th, 2008: TeraRecon, Inc. (www.terarecon.com), a leader in advanced image-processing technology and 3D visualization solutions, today announced the launch of the new Aquarius iNtuition™ release of the company’s advanced visualization platform at the International Technical Exhibition of Medical Imaging 2008 meeting of the Japan Radiological Congress, held concurrently with the 67th Annual Meeting of the Japan Radiological Society, in Yokohama, Japan, April 4th-6th 2008.

ITEM 2008 is the largest annual exhibition for medical imaging technology in Japan, where the Japanese radiology community will meet to discover new innovations and research in the field of diagnostic imaging technology. Central to this are innovations in advanced multi-detector row computed tomography (MDCT), magnetic resonance imaging (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET). Such technologies have made possible a wide range of new imaging procedures that offer a less-invasive and richer alternative to conventional techniques such as catheter angiography, but in the process, these procedures generate huge volumes of images which have to be managed and manipulated as a part of the diagnostic interpretation process. TeraRecon solutions provide the means to support such interpretation and the subsequent communication with referring physicians and patients, with fast and efficient tools for 3D visualization and measurement.

source: TeraRecon Inc.


Virtual Colonoscopy Endorsements Could Lead to Insurance Coverage

BAR HARBOR — The American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer have endorsed virtual colonoscopy as a screening option for colorectal cancer in average-risk adults age 50 years and older.

The endorsement is a step toward insurance reimbursement for virtual colonoscopy as the primary screening method for the disease.

Virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scanner to capture a series of images of the colon, which are then assembled with software to create detailed, 3-D images of the patient’s colon. A radiologist can then conduct a “fly through” of the colon to look for polyps or anything else that seems unusual on the inside surface of the colon.

source: The Ellsworth American


Study Finds Economic Advantages For 64-Slice CT, SPECT

A multicenter study has found the cost savings of the two leading non-invasive methods for detecting coronary artery disease (CAD) varies based on the patient's heart history. The study found that patients who underwent coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA), without a prior diagnosis of CAD, incurred costs $603 lower (per patient average) than those who underwent myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI or SPECT). Both groups had equal clinical outcomes. However, patients with known CAD who underwent MPI incurred healthcare costs $2,451 lower (per patient average) than CCTA patients with equal clinical outcomes. These results suggest that CCTA may be a cost-efficient alternative in patients without a prior CAD diagnosis.

source: MedicalNewsToday


PET Scanning Achieves Earlier Detection Of Colorectal Cancer Recurrenc

Regular monitoring with positron emission tomography (PET) scanning - which detects changes in the function of cells - achieves earlier detection of recurrences of colorectal cancer than conventional scanning that simply looks at the structure of body tissues, a prospective study has shown.

Colorectal cancer - cancer affecting the lower part of the digestive tract - is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Western countries. Most people newly diagnosed with the disease undergo surgery to completely remove their tumour. However, approximately half of people who have curative surgery go on to develop recurrent disease. The median survival after surgery is two years. Adjuvant chemotherapy - anticancer drug treatment given just after surgery - improves the prognosis, but one-third of patients having this treatment still suffer a recurrence within two years after surgery

source: CancerWorld