7.28.2008

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

7.24.2008

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

7.20.2008

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 Z├╝rich 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

7.18.2008

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

7.14.2008

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

7.09.2008

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

7.07.2008

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

7.03.2008

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