Toshiba Installs 1,000th MR System Worldwide

TUSTIN, Calif., Aug. 30, 2010 – Diagnostic imaging leader Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. has installed its 1,000th MR system worldwide. Kosair Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro, the only pediatric outpatient facility of its type in Kentucky, is the site of Toshiba’s milestone installation. The new facility, dedicated to the care of children, is located in the eastern suburbs of Louisville, Ky., and is the newest addition to Kosair Children’s Hospital and the Norton Healthcare Network.

As one of the only pediatric outpatient centers in the Kentucky area, Kosair Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro will use the Toshiba Vantage Atlas® MR for general radiology imaging, including both cardiac and neuro imaging, for its pediatric population. The Vantage Atlas MR is an ideal system for a pediatric facility because it offers several patient-friendly features, including Toshiba’s patented PianissimoTM technology, which reduces acoustic noise by as much as 90 percent. Reducing exam noise creates a more comfortable exam experience and improves patient compliance by helping children relax and stay still during the MR exam process, which can also reduce the need for patient sedation.

“We selected the Vantage Atlas because it offers a quiet, quick and safe exam, which is what’s needed in a pediatric setting,” said Dr. Jeff Foster, director of Radiology, Kosair Children’s Hospital. “Additionally, the Vantage Atlas improves patient care by offering a strong, fast magnet that provides outstanding image quality. Receiving high-quality images allows us to diagnose a patient and develop a treatment plan quickly, which is critical for providing the best care to our patients.”

source: Toshiba Medical


Whole-Body MRI May Help Detect Suspected Child Abuse

Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is highly accurate at detecting soft-tissue abnormalities, may serve a role in detecting suspected child abuse in infants, according to a study in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (www.ajronline.org). Whole-body MRI does not use ionizing radiation, but employs a magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bone, and virtually all other internal body structures.

The diagnosis of abuse relies heavily on the presence of skeletal injuries, and high-quality skeletal surveys (a series of X-rays of all the bones in the body) are recommended to visualize the often subtle high-specificity fractures seen in infant abuse. Bruises are the most common sign of physical abuse, but subcutaneous tissue and muscle injuries are not currently evaluated with a global imaging technique in living children.

The study, performed at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, included 21 infants who underwent whole-body MRI for the evaluation of suspected child abuse. Summary skeletal survey and whole-body MRI identified 167 fractures or areas of skeletal signal abnormality. “Although our study results revealed that whole-body MRI is insensitive in the detection of classic metaphyseal lesions and rib fractures, we found it did identify soft-tissue injuries such as muscle edema and joint effusions that, in some cases, led to identifying additional fractures,” said Jeannette M. Perez-Rossello, MD, lead author of the study.

source: American Roetgen Ray Society


ASIR Technique Significantly Reduces Radiation Dose Associated With Abdominal CT Scans

A new low-dose abdominal computed tomography (CT) technique called adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) can reduce the radiation dose associated with abdominal CT scans by 23-66 percent, according to a study in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (www.ajronline.org). Abdominal CT scans are typically used to help diagnose the cause of abdominal or pelvic pain and diseases of the internal organs, bowel, and colon.

ASIR is a technique that allows radiologists to reduce the noise in an image and improve image quality (like adjusting a TV antenna to make a “fuzzy” image sharper) while reducing the radiation dose.

The study, performed at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, included 53 patients who underwent contrast-enhanced abdominal low-dose CT with 40 percent ASIR. All 53 patients had previously undergone contrast-enhanced routine-dose CT with filtered back projection (FBP). The average dose reduction using the ASIR technique (compared to routine-dose CT with FBP) was 66 percent for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 20 and 23 percent for patients with a BMI of 25 or greater. “A significant difference,” said Amy K. Hara, MD, lead author of the study.

source: ARRS


Frost & Sullivan Honors Siemens for Leadership in CT Technology

Malvern, Pa., August 10, 2010 – Global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan has awarded Siemens Healthcare the 2010 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership of the Year in the Computed Tomography (CT) imaging market. The award was based on industry analysis and cited Siemens’ long history in dose reduction solutions, the company’s ongoing commitment to research and development (R&D) in this area, as well as its focus on adding long-term value to its customers’ investments in the company’s CT products.

“Siemens has long been proactive in addressing dose challenges in CT, and because of the company’s foresightedness, initiative, and heavy investments in this area, Siemens is recognized as one of the leaders in the development of dose reduction technologies for CT,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Roberto Aranibar.

Frost & Sullivan noted that while all major CT equipment manufacturers have recently began introducing new dose reduction technologies, “Siemens Healthcare has differentiated itself through its consistent contributions of dose reduction technologies for CT since the early 1990s.”

source: Siemens Medical


Rutgers Researchers Assess Severity of Prostate Cancers Using Non-invasive Magnetic Resonance Imaging

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers researchers are developing methods that can accurately assess the severity of prostate cancer by analyzing magnetic resonance images and spectra of a patient’s prostate gland. This may help physicians decide more confidently which patients need aggressive treatment and which are better served by “watchful waiting,” and could even postpone or eliminate invasive biopsies in patients with low-grade tumors.

In a presentation next month at the world’s premier medical image analysis conference, Rutgers biomedical engineers will report that they achieved over 90% accuracy in distinguishing low-grade from high-grade prostate cancers by running computer analyses of the images and spectra made on 19 patients in an early research study.

“The breakthrough we’ve had in the last few months is that we see image signatures that distinguish aggressive cancers from less aggressive ones,” said Anant Madabhushi, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers and a member of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).

These studies build on earlier research at Rutgers and elsewhere to identify prostate cancer using powerful, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

“Now we’re getting beyond merely identifying whether a person has cancer or not,” he said. “This could lead to better patient management and cost savings.”

source: Rutgers University


Toshiba's Aquilion One Reduces Radiation Dose And Sedation

When pediatric patients are imaged using CT, reducing sedation and radiation dose while maintaining the best possible image quality is paramount in delivering care. To provide patients with high-quality CT exams and a reduction in sedation and radiation dose, leading children's hospitals are installing Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.'s Aquilion® ONE 320-detector row CT system. Designed with the pediatric market in mind, the Aquilion ONE captures up to 16 cm in a single rotation of 0.35 seconds, decreasing the amount of radiation a patient receives and lessening the need for sedation.

With smaller vessels, lower bone density and less body fat, pediatric patients have different imaging needs than adults, creating the need for CT technology tailored for children. Traditionally, when children are imaged using multi-detector CT, sedation can be required to keep the patient still long enough to obtain a clear diagnostic image.

"Lowering radiation exposure is critical for pediatric patients, as they are more sensitive to radiation. It is especially important for pediatric patients with chronic conditions, as they could potentially undergo a lifetime of imaging exams," said Daniel Podberesky, M.D., chief of Thoracoabdominal Imaging, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

source: Toshiba Medical


FDA Accepts New Drug Application for Gadovist® 1.0 Injection in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Berlin, August 4, 2010 – Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany, announced today that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing a New Drug Application to the U.S. for gadobutrol injection, a gadolinium-based contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Gadovist® 1.0 (gadobutrol injection) is a macrocyclic, non-ionic gadolinium-based contrast agent formulated at a 1.0 molar concentration. The submission for gadobutrol injection in contrast enhanced MRI of the CNS (central nervous system) is supported by two adequate and well-controlled Phase III studies. The first Phase III study compared the efficacy of combined gadobutrol-enhanced images plus unenhanced images to unenhanced images alone. The second Phase III study used a crossover design with an active control, gadoteridol, to also compare the efficacy of the combined gadobutrol-enhanced plus unenhanced images to unenhanced images alone, as well as to confirm noninferiority of combined gadobutrol imaging versus combined gadoteridol imaging.

“If approved by the FDA, Gadovist 1.0 would complement our portfolio of contrast agents in the United States,” says Prof. Hans Maier, Head of the Diagnostic Imaging business unit at Bayer Schering Pharma in Berlin. “This submission to the FDA is an important milestone for us.”

source: Bayer


Mayo Clinic Researchers Share Latest Findings in CT Radiation Dose Reduction Efforts

ROCHESTER, Minn. — In recent years, advances in CT scanner technology have made perfusion computed tomography (CT) imaging an important diagnostic tool for patients with suspected stroke. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic are working to reduce radiation dosages used to acquire perfusion and other CT images. Mayo Clinic medical physicist Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., and her group of researchers presented their findings related to CT dose reduction at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine on July 20 in Philadelphia. The presentation was entitled "20-Fold Dose Reduction Using a Gradient Adaptive Bilateral Filter: Demonstration Using in Vivo Animal Perfusion CT."

"We believe in the clinical value of perfusion CT, and though there is no documented risk of injury at the currently prescribed radiation levels, we are trying to lower the dose for the benefit of patients," says Dr. McCollough, diagnostic radiologist, Mayo Clinic.

The As Low As Reasonably Achievable, or ALARA, principle has always guided Mayo Clinic's approach to the dosages of radiation used to acquire CT images. Dr. McCollough's team has been experimenting with a newly created image-processing algorithm that produces high-quality perfusion CTs with up to 20 times less the radiation used under existing protocols.

source: Mayo Clinic