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Diagnostic Imaging's Blog (1,118)

Digital mammo proves better than film-screen for diagnosing DCIS

The largest population-based study to date comparing film-screen mammography and full-field digital mammography has found the digital approach is superior for visualizing microcalcifications deemed crucial to diagnosing ductal carcinoma in situ. No other significant difference in the diagnostic capabilities of the digital and analog approaches was identified. Though previous studies have shown digital mammography is as good as film when it comes to detecting breast cancer, the current study is… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on September 1, 2009 at 12:16pm — No Comments

Scaring young women raises concern under breast cancer awareness plan

If it becomes law, a bill currently sitting in Congress designed to increase breast cancer awareness and prevention among women aged 15 to 39 could lead to a significant jump in the number of screening exams. Whether these exams would be medically warranted or just motivated by fear, breast imagers say, is open to question. In March, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduced the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act of 2009. The law calls for $9 million… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 28, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Imaging dose again comes under fire in New England Journal of Medicine

Nonelderly adults are exposed to excessive doses of radiation from medical imaging procedures for which clinical data are lacking, according to reports published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Radiologists and others familiar with the reports, including the American College of Radiology, cautioned against giving them too much credence. A retrospective cohort study covered more than 655,000 patients younger than 65 years and found a majority underwent at least one imaging… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 27, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Image Gently campaign launches interventional radiology phase

Interventional radiology providers in the U.S. and abroad will be asked to remember something simple but fairly important when caring for pediatric patients from now on: Step lightly. The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has expanded its Image Gently campaign to include interventional radiology, building upon previous efforts to raise awareness of the need to reduce radiation exposure from medical imaging. …

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Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 26, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Imaging fuels Medicare growth, federal report finds

Radiologists who believe that Washington insiders have targeted medical imaging for financial cutbacks can find plenty of evidence to raise concerns in a recent report on Medicare costs published by the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee. “Data Book: Healthcare Spending and the Medicare Program,” a 198-page report released by MedPAC in June, is peppered with the statistics indicating that medical imaging continues to fuel rapid Medicare spending growth, although it excuses radiologists from… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 25, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Private radiology practices think globally, act locally on imaging payment cuts

Scores of radiologists from private imaging centers in the New York City metro area and thousands of their patients have organized to pressure their representatives in Congress for support in preserving access to imaging services. Their approach targets key players dealing with health care reform. “We have access to legislators who are much more in tune with (healthcare reform) as opposed to other campaigns that may not have direct access to the lawmakers who have a say in national policy,”… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 24, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

ACR urges action on malpractice reform

The chairman of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors issued an open letter to Barack Obama urging the White House to include medical malpractice reform as part of healthcare reform discussion. In the letter dated August 12, Dr. James Thrall wrote that he felt compelled to respond to a senior administration official who said in a recent American Board of Radiology forum that malpractice reform was excluded from discussion because the White House had not heard from physician on… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 21, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Preoperative CT sways outcome of repeat cardiac operations

Findings from a Washington, DC, study suggest that cardiac CT performed before repeat cardiac surgical revascularization may lead to safer and more cost-effective operations. Preoperative CT was also linked to a higher likelihood of improved peri- and postoperative outcomes in these patients. "This is the first study looking at perioperative outcomes in association with cardiac CT as a way to guide and map substernum structures," said senior investigator Dr. Allen J. Taylor, director of… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 20, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Experts contest article declaring breast MRI causes more harm than good

A review article asserting breast MRI does not improve surgical planning, reduce follow-up surgeries, or reduce the risk of local recurrences is drawing fire in the breast imaging community. In the past few years, radiologists have used MRI in preoperative staging for women with newly diagnosed breast cancer because it detects additional cancer. The recent review article questions the utility of MRI and says the modality does more harm than good, since there is evidence MRI changes surgical… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 19, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Fetal MRI bests traditional—controversial—autopsies

When it comes to determining the cause of death for fetuses, parents may have another option besides conventional autopsy. Whole-body high-field MRI offers a reliable option for postmortem exams in a less invasive way, according to British researchers. Past scandals in the U.K. have reduced postmortem autopsy rates for fetuses. In 2001 it was reported that Alder Hey Children's hospital in Liverpool, U.K., had retained hearts and other organs from hundreds of children and fetuses who died at the… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 18, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Interventional-related radiation exposure skyrockets in developing world

The booming growth of fluoro-guided minimally invasive interventional procedures in developing countries is exposing the adults and children receiving treatment to extraordinary levels of ionizing radiation, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. "We found that a substantial number of coronary angioplasty procedures performed in the developing countries in this study are above the currently known dose reference level," said IAEA senior investigator and study coordinator Madan M.… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 17, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Agency announces NRU reactor shutdown will continue into 2010

The Canadian nuclear reactor that satisfies more than half of demand of molybdenum-99 for medical nuclear imaging services in North America will not return to service until the first quarter of 2010. Atomic Energy Canada Limited announced Wednesday that it was rolling back the estimated startup date for the National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River, ON. The reactor was shut down May 14 after a heavy-water leak penetrating its vessel wall was discovered. AECL initially estimated repairs… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 14, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Successful cardiac CT certification hinges on clinical experience, not CME

Radiologists and cardiologists who meet image interpretation requirements for cardiac CT competence certification do equally well on the test, according to results of the first Cardiac CT Board Examination. Board exam results also hint that actual clinical experience counts more toward passing scores than does medical education. "There was no difference between radiologists and cardiologists as far as how they performed in the exam," said lead investigator Dr. Allen J. Taylor, director of… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 13, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

‘Sorry’ works in malpractice, but honesty and prevention are better

For years it’s been argued apologizing for medical errors would reduce the number of malpractice lawsuits. A comment published in a law journal argues an apology is less important than honesty and a dedicated quality improvement program in reducing malpractice payouts. Tort reform does nothing to decrease medical malpractice claims because it does nothing to address the basic reason patients sue, according to Richard C. Boothman, chief risk officer for the University of Michigan Health System… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 12, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

MRI tracks connection between obesity and knee cartilage

Has the sight of a morbidly obese person making his or her way down a supermarket aisle ever led you to wonder what all that weight is doing to the person’s knees? Data from a study supported by the National Institute on Aging indicates it’s probably doing a lot of cartilage damage. “As obesity is one of the few established risk factors for osteoarthritis, it is not surprising that obesity may also precede and predict rapid cartilage loss,” said principal investigator Dr. Frank Roemer, an… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 11, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Survey exposes infection-control procedures at MRI suites as poor

Findings from a survey of 100 imaging centers suggest that MRI scanning facilities, particularly those run independently from hospitals, lack basic infection-control procedures. Patients and staff could be at risk of contracting and spreading life-threatening diseases during MRI exams. According to the paper, titled "Survey of infection control in the MRI environment," most imaging facilities appraised either lacked or failed to consistently follow infection-control protocols for their MRI… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 10, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Lung cancer staging presentation stirs debate about noncontrast imaging protocol

Radiologists may have to make only minor changes to their practices to adjust to the new international standards for lung cancer staging, but a lecture covering their implications was still controversial enough to send sparks flying Aug. 4 at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in San Francisco. The point of contention during a question and answer session arose after plenary lecturer Dr. Ned Patz, a thoracic radiologist from Duke University, recommended noncontrast thoracic CT for staging. He… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 7, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Vertebroplasty proves no better for pain than placebo in two groundbreaking trials

Interventional radiologists are coming to grips with the implications of two groundbreaking clinical trials indicating that vertebroplasty relieves pain from osteoporotic vertebral fractures no better than a sham version of the procedure. Results from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and Cabrini Medical Center in Malvern, Australia, were published simultaneously Aug. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Unlike past trials that examined only treated patients, the Mayo and Cabrini studies… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 6, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

fMRI proves honest people don’t even think about lying

Honest people don't struggle with themselves about whether they should tell the truth when given the opportunity to lie, as shown in an fMRI brain study of truth telling and prevarication from Harvard University behavioral scientists. Using a unique study approach, the researchers found honest individuals displayed little to no additional neural activity in control-related brain regions when telling the truth, but liars did. …

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Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 5, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

PET can help guide treatment decisions for neuroblastoma

Children's hospitals in Cincinnati and Memphis have established the value of FDG-PET for depicting the extent of neuroblastoma in some patients, particularly for those in the early stages of the disease. Findings from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis expand the options available for determining optimal therapy for neuroblastoma. The condition accounts for 6% to 10% of all childhood cancers in the U.S. and 15% of cancer… Continue

Added by Diagnostic Imaging on August 4, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

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