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Diagnostic Reading #1: Five “Must Read” Articles on Medical Imaging

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Happy New Year! Read the headlines from the first week of 2020.

This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: VHA audit exposes imaging delays; ultrasound may help treat Alzheimer’s; imaging highlights brain abnormalities in people with depression; 3D printing technology applications by orthopedic surgeons; and survey shows false sense of security with MRI safety. 

Massive VHA audit explores reasons for imaging delays – AuntMinnie

A substantial review of outpatient radiology and nuclear medicine services in the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) found that 17 percent of routine requests and 25 percent of urgent orders for outpatient imaging were not performed in a timely manner. The audit blamed the delays on chronic staff shortages among scheduling staff as well as aging equipment with rising imaging procedure volume.

RSNA 2019: Focused ultrasound may open pathway for treating Alzheimer’s – Health Imaging

By using focused ultrasound, clinicians can open parts of the blood-brain barrier to administer new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a pilot study presented at RSNA 2019. Alzheimer’s disease remains the most common cause of dementia and currently there is no known effective treatment. However, bypassing the blood-brain barrier—a network of blood vessels and tissue protecting the brain—enabled researchers to administer targeted drug and stem-cell treatments to multiple patients.

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Imaging reveals pathways behind depression – Axis Imaging News

MRI illuminates abnormalities in the brains of people with depression, potentially opening the door to new and improved treatments for the disorder, according to two studies presented at the recent RSNA annual meeting. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common and debilitating mental disorders worldwide, and limited understanding of the brain changes associated with MDD hinders the effectiveness of treatments.

Use of 3D printing grows rapidly among orthopedic surgeons – Health Data Management

3D printing technology is increasingly helpful to orthopedic surgeons in a variety of ways. According to an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, advancements in this technology are transforming the specialists’ ability to provide care to their patients. For example, 3D printing can be used to create a model of a patient’s specific fracture pattern or bone pathology.

Survey identifies false sense of security over MRI safety – AuntMinnie Europe

A false sense of security exists when it comes to MRI safety and many staff members are unaware of reported incidents within their own department, according to survey results posted online by European Radiology. Reported MR incidents were mainly related to burns and projectiles, and were thereby related to the static magnetic field or the radiofrequency field. Also, safety incidents related to ergonomic risks affected both patients and staff.

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