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Diagnostic Imaging


By 2030, an estimated 65.7 million people are predicted to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a 30 million person jump from today’s total. But, there’s increasing evidence that biomarkers coupled with the correct imaging technique may provide crucial insights into the disease.

Postoperative CT, most notably 3D CT scans, are the preferred imaging technique in evaluating intra-articular screw penetration of proximal humerus fractures, according to a study published in Academic Radiology.

Headaches are common in children, and many tools, often related to neuroimaging, exist to diagnose the situation, but there remains little standardized procedure in approaching individual cases and little clarity around the benefits and risks of pursuing imaging.

A recent retrospective study of brain and spinal MRI of patients suspected or known to have multiple sclerosis showed that the introduction of a structured reporting template produced reports with more adequate information for clinical decision making. The results were published in the American Journal of Roentgenology

Abdominal radiographs have been used to diagnose functional constipation in children and adolescents, despite a lack of evidence showing reliability. Researchers from the Boston Children’s Hospital examined how gastroenterologists use the images in diagnosing young patients.


Recent Headlines

Young appendicitis-possible patients well imaged with MRI over CT—and sometimes over ultrasound too

MRI is as good as CT at confirming or ruling out acute appendicitis in children, teens and adolescents, and it doesn’t matter whether the reading radiologist is specialized in abdominal or pediatric practice.

MRI can’t predict progression of common adolescent hip disorder

Here’s one indication for which potential MRI overutilization could stand to be curbed: predictive imaging of patients with slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE), the most common hip disorder in adolescent boys (although girls can get it too).

Emergency docs advised to exercise caution with solo CT interpretation

Comparing CT interpretations made by emergency physicians with those from radiologists reading the same scans, researchers in Iran found an agreement rate of 68.2 percent, leading them to urge caution among emergency doctors who feel pressured to supply their own reads for critical cases in the absence of an on-call radiologist.

Ultrasound shows efficacy of carpal tunnel treatments

Patients injected with a steroidal anti-inflammatory for symptom relief of carpal tunnel syndrome are well-served by follow-up imaging with ultrasound to show whether or not the treatment is working, according to a small study published online in Skeletal Radiology.

Human + computer combination improves follow-through on radiology recommendations

Following a review of radiology reports and patient records that turned up glaring communications gaps over noncritical yet potentially serious findings, an urban academic medical center has invested in software and dedicated staff to close the gaps and cut the associated risks for harm.

Neuro MRI shows cost-effective cognitive tests best for monitoring Alzheimer’s

Older patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) marked mainly by memory loss are most accurately evaluated with intensive neuropsychological test batteries. However, if such mental decline progresses to full-on Alzheimer’s disease, the patients are better monitored with the quicker, less costly Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

Ultrasound excels at surveilling larger pancreatic cysts

Transabdominal ultrasound is an excellent tool for follow-up imaging of larger cysts on or in the pancreas, although its performance falls off as surveilled known lesions decline in size, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in Abdominal Radiology.

Most incidental findings on trauma CT go uncaptured

As emergency CT has grown in use, incidental findings in trauma patients have multiplied. No surprise there, but a study conducted at a level-1 trauma center in New York City suggests that documentation of incidental findings may be seriously lacking, with obvious potential implications for follow-up care.

Ultrasound nets a qualified win in tennis-elbow contest

Pitting ultrasound against MRI at detecting and grading tears of the common extensor tendon in patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis—aka “tennis elbow”—researchers in Poland have found the former is fine at screening for high-grade tears. However, when any tear is clear on ultrasound, MRI should be considered to precisely assess the extent of the injury, they conclude.

Gastro bleeds give it up to multiphasic, multidetector CT

The source and cause of gastrointestinal bleeding can be notoriously difficult to pinpoint, but French researchers have found 64-slice multiphasic, multidetector CT up to the job. Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging published the team’s findings online June 25.