Local Trial Supports CT Lung Cancer Screening in High-Risk Population

Cincinnati—Computed tomography (CT) scans are an effective lung cancer screening tool for a high-risk patient population, if done with a strict clinical protocol in place and with the input of a multidisciplinary care team, according to University of Cincinnati (UC) research.

Led by Sandra Starnes, MD, the Cincinnati-based clinical trial was conducted to determine if lung cancer screening could be done effectively among a high-risk population living in a geographic area with rates of histoplasmosis three times higher than the national average.

Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection that enters the body through the lungs and increases the likelihood of lung nodules. These irregular sections of lung tissue can look like lung cancer on CT and lead to unnecessary biopsies.

"Despite having a 60 percent nodule rate, we were able to avoid doing benign biopsies and not miss any lung cancer diagnoses if the protocol was strictly followed. No one was diagnosed at a stage where the lung tumor could not be surgically removed,” says Starnes, director of thoracic surgery at the UC College of Medicine and a surgeon with UC Health.

Starnes and her colleagues report their findings online ahead of print in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

source: University of Cincinnati


Israeli Hospital Equips Medical Staff with iPads to View Imaging Studies

BNEI BRAK, Israel, December 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center (MYMC) is the first Israeli hospital to give iPad technology to its doctors, for use both on and off-site. Medical staff can now check patient records, test results, hi-resolution X-rays and CT scans, report on patient progress and plan ongoing treatment using the latest hand-held computers.

MYMC has embraced this latest and most desirable technology by investing in the latest iPad version 4.2, customized for use in Hebrew. This allows clinicians instant touch-screen access to patient records and medical information via secure password-protected internet. MYMC's IT team have programmed the Apple iPad to interact with the Microsoft Chameleon program used by the hospital.

Dr. Yoram Liwer, CEO of Mayanei Hayeshua, explains: "The picture quality on the iPad screen enables our doctors to check high-resolution x-ray and scan images, either on the wards or from outside the hospital, and to diagnose and prescribe treatment immediately at any time. The iPad is recognized today as a leading medical tool, bringing many benefits to patients and hospital staff.

source: PR Newswire


World-first at Charité: Birth in Open MRI

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have achieved a world-first, the birth of a child in an “open” MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner that allows a mother-to-be to fit fully into the machine. Through the cooperation of the obstetrician Dr. Christan Bamberg, the radiologist Dr. Ulf Teichgräber and the engineer and project manager Felix Güttler, unique images of the baby inside the mother and the child's movements in the birth canal up to the point of the exit of the head were obtained. The birth that took place in the scanner went smoothly and both mother and baby were in good health.

The joint project was a two-year research and development project of the radiological technically-oriented working group on “open high-field MRI". The team built a special “open MRI” scanner, a new type of machine whose open structure had the necessary space for the mother to give birth. One of the innovations of this new system was the creation of a new fetal monitoring system. This allowed the monitoring of the child's heartbeat on MRI during the birth process. The open high-field MRI (Philips Panorama HFO) is a novel device whose design allows easy access to mother and child enabling the researchers to study in greater detail how the baby moves through the mother’s pelvis and down the birth canal.

source: Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin


CT Best at Uncovering Drug Mule Payload

CHICAGO — According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the best way to detect cocaine in the body of a human drug courier, known as a mule, is through computed tomography (CT).

"Cocaine from South America is making its way to Europe through Africa," said Patricia Flach, M.D., a radiologist at University Hospital of Berne and Institute of Forensic Medicine of Berne in Switzerland. "From Africa, drug mules most commonly try to enter the European Union and Switzerland."

When legal authorities suspect an individual of being a drug mule, they often turn to radiologists to help quickly detect the presence of cocaine concealed in the body. Cocaine containers, which may be swallowed or inserted in the vagina or rectum, can be as large as a banana or as small as a blueberry.

"In these cases it is important for us to know that we have identified all the drug containers in a body, both for legal purposes and for the health of the patient," Dr. Flach said. "However, there was no research telling us which imaging modality was best in detecting cocaine containers in the stomach, intestines or other body orifices."

Dr. Flach and colleagues analyzed images from 89 exams performed on 50 suspected drug mules over a three-year period at University Hospital. The study group included 45 men and five women between the ages of 16 and 45. Forty-three of the suspects were ultimately identified as drug mules.

Of the imaging exams conducted, 27 were CT, 50 were digital x-ray and 12 were low-dose linear slit digital radiography (LSDR), an extremely fast, high-resolution, full-body x-ray system primarily used for trauma patients. The radiologic findings were compared with a written record of the drug containers recovered from the feces of suspects.

"As we expected, CT imaging allowed us to see all the drug containers, especially when we knew what to look for," Dr. Flach said.

source: RSNA.org


GE Healthcare Expands InSite OnWatch Capabilities for MRI Systems, Helping Enable Greater Efficiencies and Improving Customer Experience

WAUKESHA, WI – December 16, 2010 – GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric (NYSE: GE), is expanding InSite™ OnWatch capabilities, a feature of GE’s AssurePoint™ Services portfolio for MRI systems.

Unplanned downtime from clinical equipment can negatively affect virtually every aspect of care delivery — from patient care to staff productivity and cost control. InSite OnWatch, available only with GE’s AssurePoint Rapid and AssurePoint Performance service offerings (US and Canada only), can remotely resolve performance issues and forecast maintenance needs to reduce unplanned downtime — improving efficiencies and helping to lower the cost of care. InSite OnWatch MR capabilities have now been expanded to forecast maintenance needs for coils and heat exchange system issues. These new indications supplement the magnet monitoring activities that GE has been performing for several years.

“The expansion of InSite OnWatch for GE’s leading AssurePoint Service platform helps minimize the risk of having to reschedule patients and allows customers to plan required maintenance around their schedule, minimizing unplanned downtime,” said Mike Swinford, Vice President and GM, Americas Service. “Enhancing GE’s InSite OnWatch capabilities for MR systems will further improve the speed and flexibility of our services — providing exceptional service to improve system workflow and overall patient care.”

source: GE Medical


Fewer Guessing Games for Lung Cancer Patients

Reston, Va. — A study published in the December issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine identified positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans as a potentially useful tool for predicting local recurrence in lung cancer patients treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA, which uses localized thermal energy to kill cancer cells, is increasingly used as an alternative treatment for patients unable to undergo surgery or other therapies to treat lung cancer.

“This study reinforces the utility of 18F-FDG-PET imaging in cancer detection and follow-up while also providing new insight into factors that can be used for earlier prediction of recurrence after radiofrequency ablation of lung tumors,” said Amit Singnurkar, M.D., FRCPC, assistant professor of radiology and medicine at McMaster University and lead author of the study “18F-FDG PET/CT for the Prediction and Detection of Local Recurrence After Radiofrequency Ablation of Malignant Lung Lesions.” Dr. Singnurkar was previously a nuclear oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where the majority of the study was conducted.

The five-year study followed 68 patients with 94 pulmonary lesions, including metastases and primary lung cancers. By reviewing 18F-FDG PET/CT scans performed before and after RFA, researchers were able to determine several indicators that could help predict local recurrence.

Among pre-RFA scans, lesion size and type of tumor (primary or metastases) were factors in determining potential for local recurrence. Standardized uptake value (glucose metabolic activity) was also a factor in pre-RFA scans, although not independent of lesion size. PET/CT scans conducted after RFA indicated that 18F-FDG uptake patterns, size of ablation margins and standardized uptake value were parameters that could predict the likelihood of recurrence.

source: SNM


Rcadia COR Analyzer System Safely Rules Out Coronary Artery Disease in Main Coronary Arteries and Branch Vessels

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital study presented at RSNA Annual Meeting
NEWTON, Mass., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Physicians at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital reported today on results of a study demonstrating the potential for fully automated interpretation of coronary CT angiography (cCTA) by Rcadia's COR Analyzer® System to safely rule out coronary artery disease (CAD) in the major coronary arteries as well as branch vessels. The study was presented in Chicago at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting.

"The emergence of cCTA in detecting CAD is creating a growing need for new methods to facilitate study analysis," said Ethan Halpern, MD, Associate Professor in the Dept. of Radiology at the University's Jefferson Medical College and the study's principal investigator. "The results of the study, performed on 207 cases, show that automated interpretation of cCTA has a high negative predictive value for the absence of coronary disease and demonstrate its potential as an effective preliminary analysis tool to triage cases for final interpretation."

The COR Analyzer® System is a unique clinical decision support tool that performs fully automatic analysis of Coronary CT Angiography (cCTA) studies. The system, which rapidly identifies the presence of significant (50 percent and over) stenosis, is designed to accelerate triage in the emergency department. It assists in reducing unnecessary admissions by ruling out CAD as a cause of chest pain and shortens time to treatment of suspected CAD patients. In the radiology and cardiology department settings, the immediate indication of suspected significant CAD provided by the COR Analyzer, allows workflow optimization and prioritization of reading sequence

source: PR Newswire


DataPhysics Research Launches CaseReader Software -- Slashing the Time in Half for CT, PET-CT and MRI Interpretation and Reporting

SAN RAMON, CA--(Marketwire - December 6, 2010) - DataPhysics Research Inc. (DPR), a developer of advanced diagnostic imaging solutions, today introduced CaseReader™, a next-generation intelligent post-processing software solution that dramatically improves how CT, PET-CT and MRI image data is organized, managed, analyzed and reported. CaseReader deals rapidly with vast amounts of 2D image data, produces volumetric 3D images that help speed diagnosis, and radically streamlines the entire review and reporting workflow process. DataPhysics Research launched its product with a presentation it was invited to make at the Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) Conference 2010, held Nov. 28-Dec. 3 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The research and development efforts of DataPhysics Research are supported by a two-year grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) through its Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program. These grants benefit projects with the potential to reduce the long-term growth of health care costs; to create and sustain high-quality, high-paying U.S. jobs; and to advance U.S. competitiveness in the life, biological and medical sciences.

source: MarketWire