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