Diagnostic Reading #5: Five “Must Read” Articles on Medical Imaging

Reading Time: 3 minutes read

The coronavirus and chest imaging applications make headlines this week.

This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: CT scans help confirm coronavirus; chest X-rays with AI analysis improve care; dual-energy CT for pulmonary embolism; hospitals are moving away from patient shielding; and half of radiologists feel burnout.

Abnormal chest CT findings anchor coronavirus outbreak – AuntMinnie

With cases confirmed worldwide, concerns over the latest coronavirus outbreak continue to escalate. In studies that were recently published in Lancet, researchers from China report on the epidemiological and radiological characteristics of the novel virus and clinical outcomes of the first set of infected individuals. The researchers combined patient data from clinical records, laboratory tests and CT exams in their assessment. The imaging findings also revealed that all of the patients had abnormalities evident on their chest CT scans indicative of pneumonia. Watch the video to learn why dual energy has the potential to become the new standard of care in chest imaging.

Radiologist holding detector near patient's head for exam.
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Applying AI to chest X-rays improves care for congenital heart disease – AI in Healthcare 

Deep learning-based analysis of chest X-rays can be used to predict the pulmonary to systemic flow ratio of patients with congenital heart disease, according to a study published in JAMA Cardiology. While echocardiography and MRI can be used to assess a patient’s pulmonary to systemic flow ratio, both modalities have certain limitations. The study’s authors noted their findings showed that using deep learning “may confer an objective and quantitative evaluation of chest radiographs.”

How to do it: Dual-energy CT for pulmonary embolism – AuntMinnie Europe 

Dual-energy CT (DECT) for acute pulmonary embolism (PE) can help boost sensitivity and detection, especially for endoluminal clots in small segmental or subsegmental lung vessels, according to German researchers who’ve given a master class on the topic. This article provides details on the subject—including potential pitfalls and limitations—as well as pulmonary blood volume (PBV) images. Read about Carestream’s Dual Energy software.

Hospitals beginning to shift away from patient shielding during X-ray exams – Health Imaging 

Radiologists and medical physicists in hospitals across the country are rethinking the benefits of shielding patients during X-ray exams, with many institutions beginning to waive the practice altogether. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine recommended that patient shielding be “discontinued as routine practice.” The American College of Radiology endorsed the guidance, but as a medical physicist noted, it is still embedded in the minds of both patients and practitioners.

Half of radiologists say they’re burned out, placing specialty in top 5 – Radiology Business 

Nearly half of radiologists say they feel burned out on the job, which places the specialty in the top five among physicians, according to a new survey. Urologists lead the way with about 54 percent expressing workplace fatigue, while imaging fell into a five-way tie for the fourth spot at 46 percent, alongside diabetes/endocrinology, obstetrics/gynecology, family medicine and rheumatology. When separating the results by generation—millennials (ages 25-39), Xers (40-54) and baby boomers (55-73)—the middle group expressed the greatest levels of fatigue. Another noteworthy finding: about half of all three generations (ranging from 48-52 percent) said they’d even be willing to take a pay cut if it meant a better work-life balance. Read the blog on steps to combat burnout in radiology.

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