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Diagnostic Imaging


Athletes suffering suspected tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are often adequately assessed with clinical diagnostic tests performed in the clinician’s office. When these are inconclusive, diagnostic arthroscopy is the gold standard—and MRI is a generally low-value option due to its time and cost burdens.

Parents may start to reconsider treatment options when it comes to the effects of anesthesia on their children thanks to new findings from Boston Children's Hospital. 

Radiology researchers at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., have shown that infrared thermal testing is better than the human touch at finding wear spots and other defects in protective lead aprons.

After getting imaged, outpatients expect to hear back on the results within one to three days. If the wait goes longer than that, they’re likely to feel worried—or perhaps perturbed—and call in for themselves within five days, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.

Routine follow up CT imaging in elderly patients who have experienced head trauma may need to be implemented into standardized treatment plans at a more cost-effective rate, according to a recent article by JACR.  


Recent Headlines

Survey: Rad residency programs must sharpen efforts to draw women, engage med students

New female doctors applying for residency openings in radiology have different reasons for doing so than their male peers, and their priorities may challenge residency-program directors who’ve been trusting the conventional wisdom on things like work-life balance trumping career goals.  

Going by the numbers, radiology is tops in Medicare patient service

No specialty in medicine serves more Medicare beneficiaries than radiology—and this distinction opens all sorts of opportunities to “engage patients and better brand the specialty.”

MRI unlikely to catch speedy CT for initial stroke imaging

Brain MRI may provide more clinical information on some patients with acute stroke, particularly in the detection of acute ischemia and the identification of some stroke-mimicking pathologies. However, every second counts in stroke care—and brain CT has such faster door-to-needle times and better feasibility that it likely will remain the first-line stroke-imaging exam for the foreseeable future.  

FDA finds no harm done by MRI gadolinium retained in the brain

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s investigation into MRI contrast agents containing gadolinium, launched almost two years ago, has turned up zero evidence implicating these heavy-metal substances in any harms to the human brain. 

High-end ultrasound with contrast superior for managing abdominal aneurysms

Patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms are better served by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) than by color Doppler for follow-up care after receiving endovascular aortic repair (EVAR), according to a study published online May 18 in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation.

POC ultrasound rules out serious ankle injury in children

Point-of-care ultrasound, aka “POCUS,” may not be great for finding what x-rays miss in children’s injured ankles, but it proved specific enough in a recent pilot study to recommend itself for ruling out significant ligament tears and radiographically occult bone damage.

Radiation from head CT in childhood causes no cognitive issues later

Among the misgivings raised by the contemporary spotlight on imaging-related radiation exposure is whether head CT of children might affect their brain health down the road. In a spinoff study at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, it did no such thing.

In children as in adults, mild brain injury elevates risk of posttraumatic epilepsy

Posttraumatic epilepsy is a known risk for adults who have suffered mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). The same risk exists for children and teens, according to a longitudinal study published online May 5 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

Decision support nips needless back-pain imaging in the bud

Point-of-care clinical decision support (CDS) has showcased its ability to safely head off unnecessary imaging of patients presenting with low back pain—the poster-child condition of overutilization and defensive medicine—in the busy emergency department of an urban academic medical center.

Combo ultrasound scoring system deftly diagnoses, rules out appendicitis

Researchers from the surgery and radiology departments at Yale University have developed a clinical-ultrasound scoring system that may be both sensitive and specific enough to preclude the use of CT for patients with suspected appendicitis.