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.

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