Lung cancer is often called a “silent killer,” and one-fourth of people with the disease show no symptoms when they are diagnosed. It’s often caught during chest X-rays or scans performed for other reasons. Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended annual CT scans for patients ages 55 to 74 with a smoking history equivalent to one pack a day for 30 years who still smoke or who have quit within 15 years.
A simple diagnostic algorithm for pediatric acute appendicitis decreased the use of imaging, including CT, without reducing diagnostic accuracy, according to a study presented earlier this year in Surgery online. “Given the concern for increased risk of cancer after CT, these results support use of an algorithm in children with suspected appendicitis,” wrote the authors.
An ultrafast, 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner that shows both anatomy within coronary arteries and blood flow can accurately sort out which people need – or don’t need – an invasive procedure to identify coronary blockages, according to the CORE 320 international study. The study was conducted with 381 patients at 16 hospitals in eight countries. The researcher say that 91 percent of those in whom the CT scan ruled out blockages would not have required invasive treatment.
Researchers from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario, Canada have found a way that may help diagnose multiple sclerosis by using an approach called quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) with a MRI. The research was led by Ravi Menon, PhD, an expert in functional MRI says that the new imaging approach is in quantifying nerve changes and separating the white matter degeneration observed in MS from iron deposition. “We’ve been doing these scans on MS patients for a while, but nobody knew if it was a valid approach or not. We now know how to interpret the data,” says Menon.
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.