USPSTF: Screen High-Risk Smokers For Lung Cancer

An annual low-dose CT lung cancer screen got the approval from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for adults ages 55 through 79 that have a 30-year history of smoking or who have quit in the past 15 years. Other screening modalities were not recommended. Claudia Henschke, PhD, MD, and radiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City says, “This is a huge step. This is going to save lots of lives.”

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Mammogram Recall Rates Plummet With New Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

According to a recent study by the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., when mammography is combined with a new screening technology called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), recall rates are reduced from 12 percent to 8.4 percent.

DBT is like conventional two-dimensional mammography in that it takes a picture of the breast tissue using radiation, but Tomosynthesis goes further to construct a three-dimensional image that can show layers or slices of the breast tissue.

Using Tomosynthesis, cancer detection was 5.7 per 1,000 women compared to 5.2 per 1,000 women who had digital mammography only. The only downside the researchers found was that DBT essentially doubled the radiation dose.

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CT Scan Verses MRI For Stroke Patients

There are currently two imaging modalities of choice for cerebrovascular stroke patients, a CT (computed tomography scanning) scan and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). One needs to consider the advantages, limitations, and economic issues related to each when choosing which modality to use on a patient

Patients in the ER with symptoms that suggest stroke require brain imaging to determine whether a ischemic or haemorrhagic stroke occurred by using either a CT scan or MRI. The CT scan is the imaging technique of choice due to its availability in most settings worldwide and its lower cost than a MRI.

From the medical point of view, the CT scan is highly informative, and exceeds 95% in instant detection of haemorrhage few minutes after its development, and can confirm or exclude the possibility of a haemorrhagic stroke in a reliable way. There are many advantages to using a CT scan, but there are two major drawbacks. First, is an ischemic stroke may not appear in a CT scan for up to 48 hours. Second, is the lack of sensitivity to the vetebro-basillar lesions, considering that 15% of all strokes occur in this region. A patient may need to undergo a MRI after a CT scan resulting in even higher costs. Although more costly, the MRI is more conclusive resulting in more effective treatment for the particular type of stroke.

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Hospitals Have Higher Mammography Recall Rates Than Community Radiology Centers

A new study at Rhode Island Hospital reports that hospitals have higher rates for recalling patients following mammography than other community radiology centers. The recall rate is when a radiologist interprets the examination as positive and has the patient return for additional testing, which can cause a great deal of anxiety for patients.

The study found that hospital recall rates were 8.6 percent compared to 6.9 percent at other community centers. The study is published online in the journal, Radiology.

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Study Describes Radiologic Findings in H7N9

A new study conducted by Dr. Zhang and colleagues at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center differentiates the H7N9 virus from other types of pneumonia through imaging findings including progressive changes in the lungs and pulmonary connective tissues.

The study was performed on 12 patients with avian-origin influenza A H7N9 virus between April 3 and April 20, 2013. The imaging findings included ground-glass opacity (a hazy area in the lungs with the appearance of ground glass) in all 12 patients, consolidations in 11 patients, air bronchograms in 11 patients and interlobular septal thickening in 11 patients. These findings help differentiate H7N9 pneumonia according to Dr. Zhang.

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