MRI Pathology May Be Misleading

By Warren Hammer, MS, DC, DABCO

How often does a patient come in with an MRI showing a herniated or extruded disc who has been told they need surgery? Examination may show minimal weakness or even diminished reflexes.
The problem is that often, the patient did not receive a functional examination to determine other possible causations or treatments that might help repair the area without surgery.

Structural changes are immediately assumed to be causative from a torn meniscus to a disc herniation to facet degeneration, etc. A significant portion of the population have torn menisci, rotator-cuff and disc lesions, especially as they age. Frequently, rather than the spine being the causative factor, passive and resistive testing of the hip reduplicate the patient's pain.

There is no doubt that MRI is a wonderful diagnostic instrument, but doctors must make sure they provide a clinical examination that emphasizes soft-tissue examination and function before a final decision is made based on structure alone. Regrettably, the rush to surgery based on an MRI occurs too often.

complete article: Dynamic Chiropractic


Study Looks at CT Scans, Cancer Risk

Animal Model Suggests Increased Risk for People with Cancer Susceptibility Genes

Newswise — WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., -- Dec. 14, 2011 -- From the doctor’s office to the airport, Americans have more opportunity for radiation exposure than ever before.

While low levels of radiation are used in medical imaging and airport body scanners, there is much debate about exposure levels and potential cancer risks. New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has found that there could be an increased risk of cancer for certain individuals who are exposed to multiple CT scans.

The research, published in the December issue of the journal Radiation Research, was the first to look at how CT scans affected mice specially bred with a lung cancer-susceptibility gene known as Ki-ras. Mutations in this gene have been implicated in about 30 percent of a common form of human lung cancer. In this study, mice that expressed the mutant Ki-ras gene were exposed to low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) radiation. The mice exposed to CT radiation had 43 percent more tumors than unirradiated mice, and females were more susceptible than males.

We believe we are the first to use an animal model in an actual clinical CT scanner to directly look at the risk of producing tumors after a diagnostic procedure,” said lead researchers Michael T. Munley, Ph.D., associate professor of radiation oncology, and Mark S. Miller, Ph.D., professor of cancer biology, at Wake Forest Baptist. “What we found is that there may be an increased risk of tumor formation from CT scans in certain individuals with cancer susceptibility.”

source: Newswise


MRI Power to Track MS

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new way to track the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in those living with the disease, by using a powerful, triple strength MRI to track increasing levels of iron found in brain tissue.

The researchers discovered that iron levels in MS patients are increasing in grey matter areas of the brain that are responsible for relaying messages. High iron levels in a specific "relay area" were noted in patients who had physical disabilities associated with MS. Iron is very important for normal function of the brain and the amount of iron is a tightly controlled system by the brain tissue. The discovery suggests there is a problem with the control system. Too much iron can be toxic to brain cells and high levels of iron in the brain have been associated with various neurodegenerative diseases. But to date, no tests have been able to quantify or measure iron in living brain.

Alan Wilman and Gregg Blevins, co-principal investigators from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, used a new MRI method to quantitatively measure iron in the brain to gain a better understanding of what the disease is doing in the brains of those who were recently diagnosed with MS. Twenty-two people with MS took part in the study, along with 22 people who did not have the condition.

"In MS, there is a real desire and need to get a good idea of the state and progression of the disease," says Blevins, who is both a practising neurologist and a researcher from the Division of Neurology.

"When patients with MS currently get an MRI, the typical measures we look at may not give us a good idea of the nature and state of MS. Using this new MRI method would give physicians a new way to measure the effectiveness of new treatments for patients with MS by watching the impact on iron levels. This opens up the idea of having a new biomarker, a new way of looking at the disease over time, watching the disease, seeing the progression or lack of progression of the disease, a new way to track it."

Wilman, a researcher and physicist in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, says the new MRI method may be a better gauge for disease progression than strictly looking at number and frequency of relapses.

source: Unioversity of Alberta


Costly Diagnostic MRI Tests Unnecessary for Many Back Pain Patients

Johns Hopkins-led study suggests imaging studies add no value for patients getting epidural steroid injections

Newswise — Johns Hopkins-led research suggests that routine MRI imaging does nothing to improve the treatment of patients who need injections of steroids into their spinal columns to relieve pain. Moreover, MRI plays only a small role in a doctor’s decision to give these epidural steroid injections (ESIs), the most common procedure performed at pain clinics in the United States.

With greater focus on runaway health care costs, the study’s findings, appearing online in the Archives of Internal Medicine, highlight one element of the problem: the indiscriminate use of an expensive imaging tool that shows little clinical benefit.

“Our results suggest that MRI is unlikely to avert a procedure, diminish complications or improve outcomes,” says study leader Steven P. Cohen, M.D., an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Considering how frequently these epidural injections are performed, not routinely ordering an MRI before giving one may save significant time and resources.”

Cohen adds that, “if we’re trying to cut back on unnecessary medical costs, we should stop routinely doing MRIs on almost everyone who comes to us needing ESIs.” A single MRI costs roughly $1,500.

source: Newswise


CT Scans Shown to Help in the Detection of Gout

CHIGAGO – According to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, a type of computed tomography scanning (commonly called CT scans) appears to help in the diagnosis of gout by detecting the urate crystals that are often a symptom of the disease.

Gout is a painful and potentially disabling form of arthritis that has been recognized since ancient times. Initial symptoms of gout usually consist of intense episodes of painful swelling in single joints, most often in the feet (especially the big toe). Gout occurs when excess uric acid (a normal waste product) accumulates in the body, and needle‐like uric acid crystals deposit in the joints. Large deposits of uric acid crystals, called tophi, may also deposit both in joints and in the tissues around joints. This may happen because either uric acid production increases or because the kidneys are unable to remove uric acid from the body adequately.

A type of CT scan called dual energy CT scan (commonly called DECT) is highly accurate in spotting kidney stones, and this technology has recently been modified to detect monosodium urate crystals. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. recently assessed the accuracy of using DECT scanning to diagnose gout as a complementary or alternative way for physicians to make a diagnosis of the disease (in addition to or instead of withdrawing and examining synovial fluid from a person’s joint).

source: American College of Rheumatology


MRI may be noninvasive method to measure breast cancer prognosis

Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging measures were associated with prognostic tumor markers, demonstrating the potential of magnetic resonance imaging for prediction of disease prognosis and stratification of patients to appropriate therapies, according to preliminary data presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011.

"Breast cancers are heterogeneous, and different subtypes of breast cancer will respond differently to therapy," said Sana Parsian, M.D., a research assistant in the department of radiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Every patient with breast cancer must undergo biopsy to be evaluated for the type of breast cancer they have. Based on that, adjuvant medical therapies are prescribed for them."

Parsian and her colleagues hypothesized that some quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures, such as diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE), would correlate with histopathological markers by enabling the researchers to measure the tumor's cellularity and vascularity.

source: MedXpress


New Siemens SOMATOM Perspective CT Scanner Focuses on Cost-effectiveness

CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- At the 97th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Siemens Healthcare (NYSE: SI) (Booth #822, East Building/Lakeside Center, Hall D) is unveiling the SOMATOM® Perspective(1) – the first computed tomography (CT) scanner to offer the eMode software solution, which may potentially determine the best correlation between dose, efficiency and image quality, and may adjust the required scan parameters automatically. Potentially suited to cover a variety of clinical fields, the SOMATOM Perspective may potentially allow clinics and practices to extend their range of available examinations. The system's operation can potentially be optimized for the individual scan – for example, in terms of tube current or scan velocity – relieving wear and tear on the CT. The system is an example of Siemens approach to delivering innovative solutions that provide maximum value to customers – primary goals of the Healthcare Sector's recently announced Agenda 2013.

The SOMATOM Perspective's eMode software (the "e" represents efficiency) can be selected from the user interface control panel. eMode may potentially determine and automatically select the scan parameters so that the CT operates with as low a load as possible, potentially minimizing wear and increasing the scanner's life cycle.

With its slim gantry and footprint of 18 square meters, the SOMATOM Perspective has the potential to be placed even in smaller rooms. On average, it may use just 71 kVA of electricity and may emit approximately 7 kW of heat. To help facilitate its use in daily routines and possibly minimize exam times, the SOMATOM Perspective is equipped with new available Fully Assisting Scanner Technologies (FAST) features that may potentially simplify and automate time-consuming, complex procedures, thus potentially supporting clinical personnel at every stage of the CT examination.

source: Virtual Press Office


Self-Referral Leads to More Negative Exams for Patients

CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physicians who have a financial interest in imaging equipment are more likely to refer their patients for potentially unnecessary imaging exams, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Self-referral," whereby a non-radiologist physician orders imaging exams and directs patients to imaging services in which that physician has a financial interest, is a concerning trend in medicine and a significant driver of healthcare costs.

"Self-referred medical imaging has been shown to be an important contributor to escalating medical costs," said Ben E. Paxton, M.D., radiology resident at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

"Attempts to date at reducing healthcare spending on medical imaging have come in the form of across-the-board cuts that threaten to reduce access to vital imaging services," said the paper's senior author, Ramsey Kilani, M.D., associate faculty member at Duke. "We believe patients would be better served if we instead eliminated underlying drivers of unnecessary imaging spending."

Between 2000 and 2005, ownership or leasing of MRI equipment by non-radiologists grew by 254 percent, compared to 83 percent among radiologists. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the proportion of non-radiologists billing for in-office imaging more than doubled from 2000 to 2006. During that same time period, private office imaging utilization rates by non-radiologists who control patient referral grew by 71 percent.

source: PR Newswire


PET - CT Can Help Detect Curable Cause of High Blood Pressure

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a new test that could help doctors diagnose thousands of people with hypertension. While for most people with hypertension there is no discernible cause, in a small number of people there is a specific condition which causes blood pressure to rise. One such condition is known as Conn's syndrome, and this is the condition which researchers have been able to target with PET - CT scanning.

Conn's syndrome is caused by a benign tumor called an adenoma in one of the adrenal glands. The tumor causes over-production of a key blood pressure-regulating hormone called aldosterone and once diagnosed can be treated surgically or with medication.

The new test, studied on patients at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, requires scanning the abdomen using positron emission tomography with x-ray computer tomography technology. The scanning technique isd more commonly known as a PET-CT and is frequently used in cancer diagnosis. Researchers have developed a special radioactive tracer called 11C-metomidate, which "lights up" the adenomas in the scan. The test takes around 45 minutes.

The initial study has been published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The work was funded mainly by the British Heart Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research funding arm of the NHS.


Philips Receives FDA Clearance to Market Its First Whole Body PET/MR Imaging System in the United States

CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Royal Philips Electronics PHG -0.27% (aex:PHI) is announcing 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the company's first commercially available whole body positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance (PET/MR) imaging system, the Ingenuity TF PET/MR. This leading edge platform will redefine how medicine is practiced in the future by helping clinicians and researchers investigate novel personalized medicine and treatments for oncology, cardiology and neurology. The system is on display at the 97th annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), November 27 - December 2.

It was previously thought that PET and MR scans were incompatible; however, Philips overcame the enormous technical hurdles, through advances in technology, to create a new class of hybrid imaging that will push the bounds of what's possible in imaging. The system is designed to provide a state-of-the-art platform well into the future by facilitating the addition of new technologies as they become available.

The Ingenuity TF PET/MR delivers increased economic value, as it is a sequential imaging system that has a similar clinical workflow experience to PET/CT, the current benchmark for hybrid imaging. In addition, the system is designed so the patient table rotates between each modality to scan a patient, thus enabling the system to perform both standalone MR and hybrid PET/MR studies.

source: MarketWatch


Digital ArtForms Debuts iMedic3D at RSNA '11

CHICAGO, Nov. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- RSNA '11 -- Digital ArtForms announces iMedic3D, the first in a new generation of imaging tools, as well as the addition of Dr Eliot Siegel and Dr David H Kim to its Advisory Board.

"iMedic3D brings immersive interaction to medical imaging. By replacing the 2D mouse with a pair of 3D mice, we empower radiologists and surgeons to better visualize and interact with their 3D datasets," said Paul Mlyniec, President of Digital ArtForms.

"I'm proud to welcome Drs. Siegel and Kim to our Advisory Board. We are delighted that two such distinguished radiologists are so enthusiastic about iMedic3D, and we look forward to their considerable contributions to its development and acceptance. With their help, we believe we can change the face of Radiology. We are confident that the clinicians visiting with us at RSNA '11 will agree," said Mlyniec.

"The mouse and keyboard interface for imaging systems, including the PACS, has been essentially unchanged since the early 1990s," said Dr Siegel. "... Digital ArtForms' tracked interface ... seems to be a truly innovative and an out of the box concept for interaction with complex CT and MRI datasets. It becomes intuitive after a few minutes of practice, and I believe that it has the potential to provide a more efficient and effective interface if workstation vendors can support its many degrees of freedom of motion."

"The tracked interface is a paradigm shift in interpretation that makes sense," said Dr. Kim. "It supports cross-sectional evaluation and extends naturally to manipulating volumetric data. In my opinion, this is clearly the future of radiology."

source: PR Newswire


iCAD Announces Distribution Agreement with Hitachi For MR Image Analysis and Guided Biopsy Solution

NASHUA, N.H., Oct 31, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- iCAD, Inc. ICAD +2.82% , an industry-leading provider of advanced image analysis, workflow solutions and radiation therapies for the early identification and treatment of cancer, today announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Hitachi Medical Systems. With this agreement, iCAD's SpectraLook with PrecisionPoint image analysis solution for breast MRI will be available for purchase with Hitachi's Oasis and Echelon MRI systems. iCAD's MRI solution will assist radiologists in distinguishing potential cancers in the breast as part of their overall analysis of MRI studies and streamline the planning and performance of MRI-guided percutaneous breast biopsies.

"Dynamic MRI is being utilized with increased frequency as a less-invasive way to identify cancer at an early stage," said Ken Ferry, President and CEO of iCAD. "With this agreement, iCAD's advanced image analysis technology will be available to assist the many clinicians using Hitachi's MR systems to increase diagnostic confidence -- allowing them to more accurately and quickly assess a tumor, which should lead to more targeted treatment options for their patients."

source: Market Watch


White children more likely than minorities to receive CT scans following minor head trauma

BOSTON – African-American and Hispanic children are less likely to receive a cranial computed tomography (CT) scan in an emergency department following minor head trauma than white children, according to University of Michigan research presented Oct. 14 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston.

While racial disparities in adult health care are well documented, less is known about the variations in pediatric, and specifically, Emergency Department care. Appropriate CT scan use can ensure optimal diagnosis. However, as CT scans emit "appreciable radiation," potentially increasing cancer risk, their overuse can be harmful and expensive.

In the study, "Cranial CT Use for Minor Head Trauma in Children is Associated with Race/Ethnicity," researchers at the University of Michigan and other institutions including University of California-Davis, reviewed existing data on children seeking care at one of 25 Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network trauma centers. The study looked at CT use following a head injury, based on the child's potential for traumatic brain injury.

source: University of Michigan Health System


Texas Children's Hospital Pioneers Use of MRI-guided Laser Surgery for Revolutionary New Epilepsy Treatment

HOUSTON, July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Hospital is the first hospital in the world to use real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to destroy lesions in the brain that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures.

According to hospital experts, this new surgical approach offers a safer and significantly less invasive alternative to craniotomy, currently the most commonly used cranial surgical treatment for epilepsy. For high-risk patients with deep brain lesions, this new technique can be particularly life-changing because the MRI-guided laser probe utilizes a much smaller pathway through the brain to reach a deep lesion. This reduces the risk of patient complications related to contact with surrounding brain tissue. In addition, the MRI-guided laser probe is inserted through a hole in the skull that is only 3.2 mm (about the diameter of a pen) versus the removal of a larger area of skull bone for a craniotomy. Because it is a less invasive procedure, patient recovery time is much shorter.

More than three million people in the U.S. are affected by epilepsy, including about 300,000 children under the age of 14. Uncontrollable seizures can affect a child's memory, concentration, motor skills, school performance and quality of life. Drug therapies control seizures in about 60 percent of those with epilepsy. Invasive craniotomy, nerve stimulation and special diets are treatment options for patients who do not respond to medication.

"Based on our experience, we believe the use of MRI-guided laser surgery will change the face of epilepsy treatment and provide a life-changing option for many epilepsy surgery candidates -- both children and adults," said Dr. Angus Wilfong, director of Texas Children's comprehensive epilepsy program and associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.

source: PR Newswire


Cleveland Clinic Researchers Launch Long-Term Study of Brain Health in Pro Fighters

LAS VEGAS, July 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has launched a landmark study with professional fighters that will help determine whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, along with other tests, can detect subtle changes in brain health that correlate with impaired thinking and functioning. The Center is working hand-in-hand with the Nevada Athletic Commission, Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank Boxing and the UFC to spread the word about the importance of this research to the sport.

Researchers hope the information uncovered by this research will eventually result in better ways to prevent permanent brain injury in not only fighters, but also in others who may suffer from brain trauma. This information could also be used in the future to help develop better protective equipment across sports.

"It has been known for decades in the boxing community that recurrent blows to the head can result in permanent brain damage. Many notable fighters have developed striking neurological conditions at relatively young ages," said Charles Bernick, M.D., Associate Medical Director at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, and principal investigator on the study. "Our goal is to help the next generation of fighters by improving fighting safety. New technologies, such as advanced MRI scanning, may offer us the ability to determine who is at greatest risk to develop permanent brain injury and detect it at its earliest stages."

source: PR Newswire


New technology fuses MRI, ultrasound to achieve targeted biopsy of prostate cancer

A new prostate-imaging technology that fuses MRI with real-time, three-dimensional ultrasound may offer a more exacting method to obtain biopsy specimens from suspicious areas within the organ.

Four UCLA departments — urology, radiology, pathology and biomedical engineering — collaborated with the medical device company Eigen Inc. to develop and test the technology. The team's early experiences with it are reported in the online May–June issue of Urologic Oncology.

"It's difficult to identify and target suspicious areas using two-dimensional, conventional ultrasound, so urologists currently take samples systematically from the entire prostate," said study author Dr. Leonard Marks, a professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "The advent of MRI–ultrasound fusion has led to a promising advance in prostate imaging and biopsy targeting.

"Despite the technology revolution of the past several decades, we are still performing prostate biopsies just the same as in the mid-1980s," he said. "We are hopeful that new imaging methods like MRI–ultrasound fusion may soon change that."

According to the American Cancer Society, 230,000 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year, but not every one of them is deadly. Many small prostate cancers are not serious health threats, and in those cases, surveillance programs can help men avoid radical treatments like surgery. Many smaller cancers grow so slowly that they may never require treatment at all. The new imaging technology could help doctors differentiate the serious cancers from the insignificant.

source: UCLA


Baptist Health of Northeast Florida Acquires Brainsuite® iMRI and Brainsuite® iCT Digitally Integrated ORs

WESTCHESTER, Ill., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Baptist Health of Northeast Florida will be the first health system in North America to offer intra-operative imaging during pediatric and adult brain surgery and non-surgical radiosurgical procedures with the Brainlab Brainsuite® iMRI (intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging), featuring the GE Healthcare 1.5T Optima™ MR450w wide-bore scanner, and Brainsuite® iCT (intra-operative computed tomography), featuring the Siemens SOMATOM® Sensation Open CT scanner. They will be integrated into a new 11-story patient care tower scheduled to open in December 2012.

Two Baptist Health hospitals—Baptist Medical Center and Wolfson Children's Hospital—will be able to efficiently share the technology for neurosurgical procedures. The hospitals are well-known nationally for neurosurgery, and Baptist Medical Center was named in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals 2009-2010" and among the top 50 hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

"We're pleased to be able to provide our community with technology that can aid in the success of brain procedures," said John Wilbanks, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Baptist Health. "Brainsuite offers the possibility that patients will need fewer procedures and have better outcomes."

Brainsuite iMRI and iCT will create digitally integrated operating rooms that can provide intra-operative, diagnostic iMRI and iCT imaging and patient data. This will help to allow adult and pediatric neurosurgeons to determine a tumor's location and remove additional tumor cells while avoiding critical functional areas of the brain—all during the same procedure. Rather than waiting until after surgery to determine whether a procedure has removed diseased tissue from the brain (as is done traditionally), patients can be evaluated in the OR, while still under anesthesia, and neurosurgeons can perform additional surgery if needed.

source: PR Newswire


Hitachi Medical Systems America Announces FDA Clearance of its SCENARIA™ 64-Slice CT System

CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hitachi Medical Systems America, Inc., a leading provider of diagnostic imaging equipment, announced FDA clearance to market its SCENARIA CT system, the latest in the company’s line of CT products. SCENARIA combines the latest dose saving technologies in a new 64-slice platform that meets today’s need for a CT system that provides both routine and advanced applications with enhanced performance and value.

“SCENARIA includes a complete suite of dose reduction and awareness features, including Intelli IP™ Iterative Reconstruction, to enable high quality lower dose scanning across the full range of applications for Adult and Pediatric patients.”

“SCENARIA is another example of Hitachi’s ability to provide a superior product by combining the latest dose saving and imaging technologies with unparalleled ergonomic benefits afforded by a slimmer gantry design with wider 75cm aperture and a lateral shifting table,” said Mark Silverman, Manager of CT Marketing. “SCENARIA includes a complete suite of dose reduction and awareness features, including Intelli IP™ Iterative Reconstruction, to enable high quality lower dose scanning across the full range of applications for Adult and Pediatric patients.”

“With more than 68 Million CT procedures ordered across the US in 2009, it is important for CT to continue to achieve the good benefits of its diagnostic potential while further reducing patient radiation risk. SCENARIA, with its array of prescient technologies is an important tool for enhancing these benefits and reducing the radiation risk of CT Exams,” said Sheldon Schaffer, Vice President and General Manager, MR and CT.

source: Business Wire


Philips to Take Orders for the Ingenia MRI System in the United States

ANDOVER, Mass., April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today announced the United States availability of the Ingenia MRI system, the first-ever digital broadband magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) solution. Previously available in Europe, Canada and Japan, the system has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Driven by Philips commitment to developing innovative patient care solutions, Ingenia MRI delivers exceptional image clarity, scanning efficiency and scalability designed to advance diagnosis and radiology workflow.

In order to visualize detailed structures within the human body, MRI orchestrates the application of radio frequency (RF), audio frequency and static magnetic fields, the strength of which is measured in Tesla (T) units. Clinicians have long relied on MRI for its exceptional ability to differentiate various soft tissues. Until now, all MRI systems have utilized analog components for the signal acquisition and processing needed to generate patient images. However, the use of analog components during these processes has limited the upper reaches of image clarity and quality.

The Ingenia system introduces, for the first time in MRI, digital signal acquisition and processing directly at the patient. By digitizing the signal directly in the RF receive coil nearest to the patient and transferring and processing the signal in digital form throughout the imaging chain, Ingenia is able to generate up to a 40 percent improvement in signal-to-noise ratio compared to previous generation systems*. This digital signal acquisition and processing facilitates the delivery of crisp image clarity to help clinicians make informed decisions for a wide range of clinical procedures, including traditional applications like neuro and musculoskeletal and fast-growing applications like body and cardiac.

source: PR Newswire


GE Announces Groundbreaking MR Scanner Featuring Exceptional Patient Experience, Compact Design And High Resolution Images

Fairfield, Conn., March 28, 2011 – (NYSE: GE) – GE today announced the launch of the Optima* MR430s, a new specialty scanner with breakthrough technology that delivers precise imaging with exceptional comfort and the 1.5T image quality radiologists require. The Optima MR430s is an extreme leap forward in MR imaging because only the targeted anatomy – whether it’s an arm or a leg – goes inside the system. It is the latest in a series of innovative health technologies that provide better health to more people through GE’s healthymagination initiative.

“GE's Optima MR430s extremity scanner stands out because it ensures high quality images and a more refined, comfortable MR experience for those who have suffered injuries to an arm, leg or even a wrist or ankle,” said Dr. William B. Morrison, Director of Musculoskeletal Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “This scanning technology helps eliminate anxiety and discomfort often associated with full-body MR technology.”

The Optima MR430s is a musculoskeletal MR system that delivers precise imaging of the arm, including elbow, wrist and hand, or the leg, including knee, ankle and foot, allowing the patient to recline on a comfortable padded and adjustable chair with only the targeted anatomy positioned in the system. The innovative design is patient-friendly and may provide greater peace of mind, especially for those who have trouble laying still or feel uncomfortable with a traditional MR system.

source: GE Medical


HCG Launches Biograph m CT-World’s First Molecular CT ; A Boon For Early Diagnosis

Bangalore 18th March 2011:

HCG launched the world’s 1st Biograph m CT, an advanced technology of a High Definition PET CT scan which is the next level of integrated imaging.

Speaking to the media on this occasion, Dr.Rodney Hicks Professor & Director –Molecular Imaging at Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center, Melbourne, Australia said “This is an advanced technology with the ability to make the diagnosis precise. Thus during treatment, radiotherapy can be targeted to the cancer cells without affecting the good cells. With this technology the side effects of radiotherapy can be minimized”.

Dr. Ajaikumar Chairman HCG said “Metabolic changes of an organ can be noticed much before anyone can see anatomical changes. Thus early diagnosis is possible through PET CT.India has already acquired 70 PET CT scan machines, of which HCG alone has four similar machines across its centers and has ordered five more PET CT scanners. However HCG is the only center in India to have acquired HD PET CT.

source: PR-Usa


Researchers Present Key Findings Comparing PEM to MRI for Identification of Contralateral Breast Cancer at the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) Conference

LAS VEGAS, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers presented data demonstrating increased specificity of Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) when compared to MRI for the detection of breast cancer at the National Consortium of Breast Centers' 21st Annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference held March 12 – 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The poster presentation, titled Pre-Surgical Detection of Malignancies in the Contralateral Breast Using Positron Emission Mammography: Comparisons with Magnetic Resonance Imaging, reveals the results of a 208 patient, single-site, IRB-approved, prospective study.

Women with newly diagnosed breast cancer have a 3-5% incidence of synchronous contralateral cancer (cancer in the opposite breast). Because of this increased risk, accurate evaluation of the contralateral breast at the time of primary diagnosis is essential to reduce both time and cost to the patient. Traditionally, breast MRI has been used to evaluate the breast for both ipsilateral (originally diagnosed) and contralateral disease; however, Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) is a 3-D molecular breast imaging approach that has been found to be as sensitive as breast MRI in detecting index and additional cancer in the ipsilateral breast with improved specificity.

source: PR Newswire


GE Healthcare Announces FDA Clearance of MR Systems Optima MR360 and Brivo MR355 to Address Demand for Productivity, Versatility and Value

WAUKESHA, WI MARCH 3, 2011—GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) today announced FDA clearance of Optima™ MR360 1.5 tesla and Brivo™ MR355 1.5 tesla magnetic resonance systems addressing the demand for productivity, versatility and value. Approximately 180 systems have been ordered by hospitals and imaging centers worldwide.

The Optima MR360 is an application-rich 1.5 Tesla MR system that can help improve imaging productivity and help offset ownership costs. It is engineered around a high-definition platform that includes remarkable flexibility and efficiency to deliver benefits on many levels: technologists benefit from ease of use; radiologists benefit from consistent high quality; administrators benefit from satisfied patients, and efficient throughput.

The system delivers outstanding value with the benefits of a GE ecomagination product. Its footprint is 20 percent smaller than other fully body 1.5T systems, and it can consume up to 34 percent less power than previous generation systems, potentially saving up to 60,000 kWh per year.

The Brivo MR355, also recently cleared by the FDA, makes the diagnostic benefits of high-performance MR technology easy and accessible. It combines simplification technology with low total cost of ownership.

Using an uncompromised magnet, the Brivo MR355 features a 48 cm field-of-view. It also features the OpTix technology, and the embedded Express coil.

source: GE Healthcare


GE Healthcare Optima MR430s 1.5T Specialty Scanner Receives FDA Clearance

Waukesha, Wisconsin February 24, 2011— GE Healthcare today announced FDA clearance of the Optima™ MR430s, a new specialty scanner that delivers the comfort patients appreciate and the 1.5T image quality radiologists require. The Optima MR430s is a musculoskeletal magnetic resonance system that delivers precise imaging of the arm, including elbow, wrist and hand, or the leg, including knee, ankle and foot.

The Optima MR430s is a small, efficient MR system featuring a compact design. The system has industry leading gradients, delivering 70mT/m of strength and 300T/m/s of slew rate. Short echo spacing and high signal to noise ratio enable high resolution and sharp images. The power of the system comes in a small footprint of approximately 222 square feet (20.62 square meters).

Unlike the awkward and uncomfortable positions sometimes required for extremity scanning in whole-body systems, patients can relax in a padded chair beside the scanner, reclining comfortably much like they would in a favorite chair at home. Yet the Optima MR430s features a high-strength 1.5T magnet that ensures uncompromised image quality. And, because a more relaxed patient is less prone to moving around, the resulting images are likely to be even more clear and consistent.

For technologists, the innovative design of the Optima MR430s helps improve productivity by alleviating time-consuming tasks, such as positioning patients and managing their anxiety. Six iso-centric dedicated RF coils can accommodate a full range of patient sizes and anatomies. The system’s design also ensures that the targeted anatomy is precisely positioned at the magnet’s isocenter and coil proximity increases signal to noise ratio for high clarity—even in small anatomies.

source: GE Medical


ACR Representatives Present Strategies to Reduce Radiation Dose, Unnecessary Imaging at NIH Radiation Dose Summit

Reston, VA (Feb. 24, 2011) — Representatives from the American College of Radiology outlined strategies for transforming computed tomography (CT) technology and its use to minimize medical radiation exposure today at the National Institutes of Health "Summit to Focus on Management of Radiation Dose in Computerized Tomography – Emphasis Toward the Sub-mSv CT Exam."

“As the stewards of medical radiation technology and safety for the past 100 years, radiologists take seriously the responsibility to provide leadership in creating policies to help ensure that patients receive only necessary care; and when imaging is appropriate, that those we care for receive the right exam for the right indication at the right time,” said John A. Patti, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors. “The government, manufacturers and imaging providers need to work together to arrive at quality-based imaging utilization and safety policies to ensure that patients get safe, quality care.”

Imaging exams save millions of lives each year. Scans are directly linked to longer life expectancy and declining death rates. The responsible use of radiation is essential to continuing these patient benefits.

“ACR accreditation decreases duplicate scans and unnecessary radiation exposure by requiring basic physician training standards for imaging providers, regular surveys of scanners by a medical physicist and certification of radiologic technologists. Image quality requirements must be part of accreditation requirements if we are to take serious steps to raise and maintain quality and safety in medical imaging,” said James A. Brink, MD, chair, ACR Body Imaging Commission, who presented at the NIH summit on the role of the ACR accreditation program in reducing overall dose and improving quality moving forward.

source: American College of Radiology


Michigan Resonance Imaging Installs Highest Resolution 1.5T MRI Machine in U.S.

ROCHESTER HILLS, MI--(Marketwire - February 22, 2011) - Michigan Resonance Imaging has purchased the newest Siemens Aera 1.5T open magnetic resonance imaging machine and installed it at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center.

"This is a huge advantage for our patients," said Janelle Spann, executive director of Michigan Resonance Imaging. "This newest 1.5 Tesla open MRI machine will provide far more detailed images than any other 1.5 Tesla Open MRI machine in Michigan. It will allow physicians to have better diagnosis which will lead to superior cardiac, orthopedic, vascular, neurological and magnetic resonance enterography scans resulting in better outcomes," said Spann.

"Typical open 1.5T MRI machines provide 18-channel imaging where the new Siemens Aera 1.5T will image at 64 channels, it will show more detail than any other 1.5T in the state. Better images means better diagnosis, which leads to better treatments for patients," said James Peters, M.D., a fellowship-trained, board-certified radiologist for Michigan Resonance Imaging.

The delivery of this unique machine was a long process, as it was nearly custom-built for Michigan Resonance Imaging, the leader in MRI imaging in S.E. Michigan. MRI technology uses a combination of magnetism and radio waves to reveal remarkably clear images without exposure to radiation.

source: Marketwire


Mobile MIM, First FDA-Cleared Diagnostic Medical Imaging App, Now Available on the U.S. App Store

CLEVELAND, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MIM Software Inc., a leading global provider of medical imaging software, announced today that Mobile MIM™ is available on the U.S. App Store. This news follows the FDA's announcement on February 4 that the app had received 510(k) clearance for remote diagnostic viewing of CT, PET, MRI, and SPECT images on the iPhone®, iPod touch®, and iPad®.

The Mobile MIM App is free to download and includes sample images to demonstrate its functionality. Physicians and other medical professionals can download images to the device using MIMcloud™ (www.mimcloud.com), an Internet-based service which allows secure upload and download of encrypted medical data. Alternatively, a MIM workstation can be used at a facility to transmit the images to Mobile MIM. In either case, Mobile MIM is HIPAA compliant and indicated for use only when the physician does not have access to a workstation.

"The FDA's decision to take an active interest in medical imaging apps being marketed to physicians is an important step for the future of medicine," says Mark Cain, CTO of MIM Software. "The app gives physicians and doctors anytime, anywhere access to important scans, raising the bar for efficiency, convenience, and patient care."

The Mobile MIM App is designed as a thick client, which means the data is downloaded to the device for viewing instead of being streamed to the device from a server. To secure the protected health information, Mobile MIM provides "at rest" encryption through the use of a passcode and 128-bit AES encryption from within the app. All transfers use SSL encryption.

source: PR Newswire


WSU study finds younger stroke victims benefit from earlier MRIs

Detroit - While the American Stroke Association reports that stroke is the third leading cause of death and one of the top causes of disability in the United States, young adults showing signs of suffering a stroke are sometimes misdiagnosed in hospital emergency rooms, preventing them from receiving early effective treatment that can prevent serious damage.

Performing magnetic resonance imaging sooner on younger stroke patients entering emergency rooms can lower the rate of misdiagnosis and lead to faster appropriate treatment, according to a team of Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne State University Physician Group neurologists.

The Wayne State University-Detroit Medical Center Stroke Program team presented its findings Thursday during the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif.

In "Early Performance of MRI is Associated with Lower Rate of Stroke Misdiagnosis in Young Adults," the team examined the cases of 77 patients with a mean age of 37.9 years who reported to an emergency room displaying stroke symptoms. Of those cases, 14.5 percent of the patients were initially misdiagnosed.

The chances of a misdiagnosis decreased if physicians performed an MRI of the patient within 48 hours. The likelihood of a misdiagnosis increased as the age of the patients decreased.

source:Wayne State University -Dept. of Research


Medtronic Receives FDA Approval for First and Only Pacemaker System in the U.S. Designed for Use in the MRI Environment

MINNEAPOLIS – February 8, 2011 – Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its Revo MRI™ SureScan® pacing system, the first and only pacemaker in the U.S. specifically designed for use in an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) environment and approved as MR-Conditional. Shipments of Revo MRI will begin immediately.

Until now, MRI procedures had been contraindicated for patients with implanted pacemakers due to the potential for serious adverse events.i,ii,iii,iv Each year, an estimated 200,000 pacemaker patients in the United States have to forgo MRI scans, which are critical for making a wide range of health diagnoses.iv

“The new Revo MRI pacemaker is a major technological breakthrough for patients who need access to MRI,” said Dr. J. Rod Gimbel of Cardiology Associates of East Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. “Providing pacemaker patients with access to MRI allows detection and treatment of serious medical conditions such as stroke, cancer, and a wide variety of important neurologic and orthopedic conditions.”

source: Medtronic


CMS Announces Participants Selection for Medicare Imaging Demonstration Project

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that it has selected five participants in the Medicare Imaging Demonstration (MID), a demonstration project that promotes appropriate utilization of advanced imaging services.

CMS solicited proposals from interested parties (referred to as “conveners”) that recruited physician practices for participation in the demonstration. Those conveners selected are the Brigham & Women's Hospital; Henry Ford Health System; Maine Medical Center-Physician Hospital Organization; University of Wisconsin-Madison, and National Imaging Associates.

“The demonstration provides CMS an opportunity to work closely with individual conveners and physician practices in testing whether the use of decision support systems can improve quality of care by diminishing patient exposure to potentially harmful radiation caused by unnecessary over-utilization of advanced imaging services,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD.

The 2- year demonstration, authorized by section 135(b) of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, will assess the impact that decision support systems used by physician practices have on the appropriateness and utilization of advanced medical imaging services ordered for beneficiaries in original fee-for-service Medicare.

The demonstration focuses on three advanced diagnostic imaging modalities: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and nuclear medicine. Eleven advanced imaging procedures -- Spect MPI, MRI lumbar spine, CT lumbar spine, MRI brain, CT brain, CT sinus, CT thorax, CT abdomen, CT pelvis, MRI Knee, and MRI shoulder -- are included in the demonstration.

source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


PET Scans May Allow Early Prediction of Response to Targeted Therapy of Thyroid Cancer

Reston, Va. — Positron emission tomography (PET) can image metabolic changes following treatment with the protein kinase inhibitor vandetanib, helping to define the therapy response or the effectiveness of the therapeutic agent, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Currently being tested in clinical trials, vandetanib inhibits the function of the RET (rearranged-during-transfection protein) proto-oncogene and other protein kinases involved in the development and progression of cancer.

“For the most part, clinical trials have been measuring the effectiveness of vandetanib by changes in tumor size. Based on the activating effects of mutated RET and other protein kinases on numerous intracellular metabolic pathways, we hypothesized that PET imaging could play a role in the early evaluation of response to vandetanib,” said Martin A. Walter, MD, lead author of the study “Metabolic Imaging Allows Early Prediction of Response to Vandetanib.”

The study examined the usefulness of metabolic imaging to determine response to vandetanib in three ways. First, medullary thyroid cancer cells were used to create an in vitro model. After cultivation, the cells were treated with vandetanib, and changes in the metabolic profile of the cells were successfully monitored by transcriptional profiling and by radiotracer uptake studies.

Using the same untreated cells, the researchers then created an in vivo model by injecting mice with the cancerous cells and treating them with vandetanib. Small animal PET/computed tomography (CT) imaging was performed and was found to reproduce the in vitro findings of metabolic activity after three days.

source: SNM


Repeat MRI Screening for Breast Cancer Results in Fewer False Positives

OAK BROOK, Ill. — MRI screening for breast cancer delivers consistent rates of cancer detection and fewer false-positive results over time, according to a new study published online and in the April print edition of Radiology.

While MRI can be more effective than mammography at identifying suspicious areas of the breast, it is not always able to distinguish between cancerous and benign lesions, which can result in additional testing and false-positive results that may cause anxiety for patients. A screening exam is considered to be false positive when its results recommend further testing or a biopsy of a suspicious finding, but no cancer is found.

"MRI is an excellent screening tool for breast cancer, but the higher rate of false-positive results keeps some women from undergoing the exam," said the study's co-author Martha B. Mainiero, M.D., director of the Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging at Rhode Island Hospital and associate professor of diagnostic imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I. "The goal of our study was to determine if the availability of prior MR images for comparison reduces the rate of false positives associated with the initial MRI breast screening exam."

In the study, researchers reviewed reports from 650 consecutive screening MRI breast exams performed on women between September 2007 and December 2008 at Rhode Island Hospital. The women, who ranged in age from 25 to 81 years, were referred for MRI screening because they were considered to be at high risk for breast cancer.

Of the breast MRI results reviewed, 307 were the patient's first, or baseline, screening exams and 343 were annual or repeat screening MRI exams.

In the baseline group, MRI identified two cancers for a cancer detection rate of 0.65 percent. In the repeat screening group, the cancer detection rate was nearly twice as high: cancer was found in four patients, for a rate of 1.17 percent.

source: RSNA


FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Bayer's Gadobutrol Injection for MRI of the Central Nervous System

WAYNE, N.J., Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted unanimously that clinical trial and postmarketing data for gadobutrol injection, a macrocyclic 1.0 molar gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA), support approval of the product for proposed use in diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in adults and children (2 years of age and older) to detect and visualize areas with disrupted blood brain barrier and/or abnormal vascularity of the central nervous system (CNS).

In addition to the vote for approval, Committee members concurred by a vote of 15 to 1 that gadobutrol should be labeled without an NSF (nephrogenic systemic fibrosis) contraindication in the at-risk population. NSF is a very rare but serious disease that affects a small percentage of patients with severe renal impairment who undergo contrast-enhanced MRI. All marketed GBCAs have a boxed warning about the potential for NSF in patients with chronic severe kidney disease or acute kidney injury.

Gadobutrol is formulated at a 1.0 molar concentration (mol/L) which provides a higher concentration (lower volume) compared to other contrast agents used for CNS imaging. Bayer appreciates the Committee's discussion and suggestions around risk minimization for inadvertent dose misadministration and will continue to work with the FDA as it finalizes its review of gadobutrol.

"Bayer is pleased that the Advisory Committee recognized the totality of the clinical and post-marketing data presented today," said Pamela A. Cyrus, M.D., Vice President and Head of U.S. Medical Affairs, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. "If approved by the FDA, Bayer believes that gadobutrol will provide healthcare providers with an additional new option for CNS imaging in the United States."

source: PR Newswire


CT scanning aids rapid diagnosis, treatment planning for abdominal pain

The use of CT scanning to evaluate abdominal pain in emergency departments can help physicians arrive at a diagnosis quickly and decisively. A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and appearing in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology also finds that information provided by CT scans changed treatment plans for almost half the patients studied and significantly reduced probable hospital admissions.

"Our report addresses an important question with substantial policy relevance – what is the value of CT scanning in the emergency department setting?" says Scott Gazelle, MD, MPH, PhD, an MGH radiologist and director of the Institute for Technology Assessment, senior author of the study. "We specifically looked at how the use of CT for patients with abdominal pain affects physicians' thinking about their patients' diagnosis, their confidence in the diagnosis and the treatment plan; and we found that it significantly affected all three."

Gazelle explains that imaging has become a target for efforts to reduce health care costs. "We've strongly believed that the use of CT in the emergency department can improve efficiency in the workup for many conditions, but we haven't had the evidence we would like to back up that assertion. We chose abdominal pain for our study because it's a common presenting symptom that doesn't have the clearly defined diagnostic guidelines available for other common symptoms that can lead to CT, like headache."

Over a 15-month period from November 2006 through February 2008, physicians in the MGH Emergency Department (ED) who ordered CT scans for patients with abdominal pain not associated with a traumatic injury were asked to complete a questionnaire both before the scan was conducted and again after receiving the results. The questionnaire included the physicians' current diagnosis of the probable cause of symptoms, their level of confidence in the diagnosis and their expected treatment recommendations.

source: EurekAlert


‘Selective Strategy' Recommended for CT Scans in Emergency Department

CINCINNATI―Emergency medicine researchers with the University of Cincinnati (UC) are advocating a new strategy for diagnosing a common but dangerous condition in the emergency room.

Pulmonary embolism, or PE, is a potentially lethal disease in which a blood clot, usually from the legs, travels to the lungs and becomes lodged in a pulmonary artery. But the most common way of testing for PEs, a computed tomography angiography (CTA), comes with so many side effects that researchers in emergency medicine are now looking for ways to reduce use of the test.

In a CTA, a contrast dye is first injected into a vein. As the dye circulates through the body, a CT scan is used to take detailed images of the vessels.

"The use of CTA for blood clots has increased 235 percent between 1991 and 2002,” says Michael Ward, MD, UC emergency medicine operations research fellow. "However, recent literature has shown there are significant risks associated with CTA, including radiation, severe allergic reaction and kidney failure from the contrast dye.

"As more risks are discovered, the development of diagnostic strategies to reduce the use of CTA has become extremely important.”

In a study done June 2010, Ward used existing data to predict costs and results for two models of PE diagnosis. One model tests all patients for PE using a CTA. Another uses compression ultrasound to first test for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the formation of a blood clot in the leg.

"The diagnosis of a DVT, together with symptoms of PE, almost certainly suggests a PE,” says Ward. "If the test for DVT was positive, the patient was admitted to the hospital for PE and started treatment with anticoagulants. If the test was negative, patients had a CTA performed to evaluate for PE.”

source: University of Cincinnati


Clinical Study Using Revolutions Medical's Proprietary MRI Software Tools Receives Investigational Review Board (IRB) Approval

CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 12, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Revolutions Medical Corporation ("Revolutions Medical" or the "Company") (OTCBB:RMCP) is happy to report that it has received notice that Investigational Review Board (IRB) approval has been granted this month to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for the research project application titled 'Characterization of Intracranial Hemorrhages by Color MRI Automatic Segmentation,' by Dr. H. Keith Brown and his collaborators. With this new approval, the team of research scientists and clinicians will now begin collecting and analyzing diagnostic images from cases of intracranial hemorrhages using RevColor™, Rev3D™, and RevDisplay™ MRI software. The results of this important clinical study will be presented at scientific sessions throughout the country and submitted for publication in an appropriate medical image analysis related journal later this year.

This study along with the earlier work reported on August 16th 2010 on the 'Characterization of intracranial masses by color MRI automatic segmentation,' will be the basis for new developments targeting the characterization of head trauma injuries and brain tumors. Several important applications may be developed such as the detection and characterizing of sports injuries due to head trauma or concussions.

source: Revolutions Medical Corp.


CT Helps Identify Bullet Trajectories

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) provides an efficient, effective way to analyze wounds from bullets and explosive devices, according to a study published online and in the March issue of Radiology.

"The information provided by MDCT has the potential to improve patient care and aid in both military and civilian forensic investigations," said the study's lead author, Les R. Folio, D.O., M.P.H., from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md.

U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan face threats from increased sniper activity and the use of improvised explosive devices. Current clinical reports of wounds from bullets and bomb fragments do not include the progression of the trajectory or the direction of the wound path, despite the fact that ballistic injuries are not necessarily confined to a single anatomic structure.

While research has shown the value of CT in the analysis of ballistic wound paths, there is no widely accepted method for consistently and accurately pinpointing wound paths and determining the trajectory angles.

For the study, researchers evaluated the accuracy of MDCT-based ballistic wound path identification. They had a marksman shoot six shots from a rifle into two simulated legs made from various synthetic materials to optimally represent real tissue. The legs were tilted at six different angles based on common sniper heights and distances.

After the leg phantoms were scanned with 64-channel MDCT, several radiologists independently reviewed the CT images and recorded entrance and exit sites for the bullet trajectories. The angles measured on MDCT corresponded closely with those calculated from coordinates with actual shooting angles. Dr. Folio and his team concluded that radiologists could estimate the location of a sniper or an explosive device by extrapolating trajectories identified on MDCT when other factors, such as sniper distance and the victim's position, are known.

source: RSNA


Can Love Last? SBU Imaging Study Attempts to Provide an Answer

An imaging study by the Psychology Department at Stonybrook University in New York attempts to answer the age old question 'can love last'. Using functional MRI study led by Bianca Acevedo, Ph.D., and Arthur Aron, Ph.D. compared neural correlates of the long time mattied and in love with the individuals who had recently fallen in love.

The researchers used fMRI to scan the brains of 10 women and 7 men who were intensely in love after an average 21 years of marriage. Results were compared with an earlier study of individuals who had fallen madly in love within the past year.
They discovered highly similar brain activity in regions associated with reward, motivation and “wanting” in both sets of couples. “We found many very clear similarities between those who were in love long term and those who had just fallen madly in love,” says Dr. Aron, referring to key reward and motivation regions of the brain, largely parts of the dopamine-rich ventral tegmental area (VTA). “In this latest study, the VTA showed greater response to images of a long-term partner when compared with images of a close friend or any of the other facial images.”

Overall, Drs. Acevedo and Aron explain that the brain imaging data on the long-term couples suggest that reward-value associated with a long-term partner may be sustained, similar to new love. Additionally, the results support theories proposing that there might be specific brain mechanisms by which romantic love is sustained in some long-term relationships.


Implantable Ports for Easy Viewing Under CT Scans

St. Paul, MN, January 5, 2011 -- Smiths Medical, a leading global medical devices manufacturer, announced today that they have launched new implantable ports with CT identifiers for easy viewing using X-rays or CT scout scans. The implantable ports facilitate quick acknowledgement that the ports can be used for power injection of contrast media.

The PORT-A-CATH® and P.A.S. PORT® POWER P.A.C. implantable access systems now include an easy-to-see CT identifier on the top of each port. Unlike other ports where the C and T letters are located on the bottom of the portal, and often have to be read backwards under scout scans, PORT-A-CATH® and P.A.S. PORT® POWER P.A.C. systems contain a radiopaque CT identifier that is embedded into the top of the port septum for easy, normal viewing.

Implantable access systems provide a route of delivery for patients requiring long-term medication therapy such as chemotherapy. The portal is implanted under the skin and connected to a catheter that is threaded into a vein. Power injecting may be performed when a patient requires a Contrast Enhanced Computed Tomography (CECT) scan for diagnostic purposes. The power injection procedure requires use of an implantable port, such as the PORT-A-CATH®, PORT-A-CATH® II or P.A.S. PORT® T2 POWER P.A.C. implantable access systems, that can withstand higher pressure and faster flow rates than standard medication infusions.

source: Smiths Medical


Advance makes MRI scans more than seven times faster

BERKELEY — An international team of physicists and neuroscientists has reported a breakthrough in magnetic resonance imaging that allows brain scans more than seven times faster than currently possible.

Series of fMRI brain scans showing new acceleration techniquesfMRI brain scans without the new acceleration techniques (top row) and with increasing numbers of multiplexings and slice accelerations. The bottom row was obtained seven times faster than the top row, although all show similar resolution. Only 4 of the 60 slices of a full, 3-D brain scan are shown. (David Feinberg/UC Berkeley)
In a paper that appeared Dec. 20 in the journal PLoS ONE, a University of California, Berkeley, physicist and colleagues from the University of Minnesota and Oxford University in the United Kingdom describe two improvements that allow full three-dimensional brain scans in less than half a second, instead of the typical 2 to 3 seconds.

"When we made the first images, it was unbelievable how fast we were going," said first author David Feinberg, a physicist and adjunct professor in UC Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and president of the company Advanced MRI Technologies in Sebastopol, Calif. "It was like stepping out of a prop plane into a jet plane. It was that magnitude of difference."

For neuroscience, in particular, fast scans are critical for capturing the dynamic activity in the brain.

"When a functional MRI study of the brain is performed, about 30 to 60 images covering the entire 3-D brain are repeated hundreds of times like the frames of a movie but, with fMRI, a 3-D movie," Feinberg said. "By multiplexing the image acquisition for higher speed, a higher frame rate is achieved for more information in a shorter period of time."

source: University of California - Berkley


PET scans provide insight into fever-induced epilepsy in children

Reston, Va. (January 3, 2011) — Sudden, catastrophic childhood epilepsy is a parent's worst nightmare, especially in the case of fever-induced refractory epileptic encephalopathy in school-age children (FIRES). While not much is known about the condition, new research published in the January issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that positron emission tomography (PET) scans can offer an evaluation of cognitive dysfunction of FIRES, its evolution and further prognosis.

FIRES, a recently named condition, occurs in previously healthy children who, after a brief fever, experience acute seizures that are resistant to medication and last for several weeks. After the seizures stop, children are left with severe cognitive dysfunction, mainly involving language, memory and behavior.

The study, "18F-FDG PET Reveals Frontotemporal Dysfunction in Children with Fever-Induced Refractory Epileptic Encephalopathy," was conducted with eight patients diagnosed with FIRES. The patients were given a neuropsychologic evaluation, a brain MRI and an 18F-FDG PET scan. Severe cognitive dysfunction was noted, and while the MRI tests showed no abnormalities for the patients, the PET scans reported significant cognitive impairment.

Researchers compared the FIRES patients with a pseudo-control group of epilepsy patients with normal MRI and PET scan results. Using statistical parametric mapping, an objective approach to analyzing brain activity, the study exposed that the brain dysfunction was related to the epilepsy in the FIRES patients.

source: EurekAlert