Diagnostic Reading #11: Five “Must Read” Articles on Medical Imaging

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Abdominal and lung imaging exams are in the headlines this week.

This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: new imaging method may sport heart attacks earlier; identifying medical devices in abdominal X-rays; revised guidelines for CT lung cancer screening; radiologists perform majority of LPs; and expert tips for on-call night shifts.

Combined imaging method overcomes angiogram limitations and may help prevent heart attacks – Health Imaging

image of nurse holding detector with x-ray equipment for patient
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A new cardiovascular imaging technique identifies high-risk plaques within blood vessels and may detect heart attacks before they begin, according to a study published in The Lancet. Near-infrared spectroscopy and intravascular ultrasound proved highly capable at spotting blockages in nearly 900 autopsy studies of patients who suffered a heart attack. Researchers found dangerous plaques were not detected using previous tests, including angiograms.

Medical devices: What to look for in abdominal X-rays – Diagnostic Imaging

As technology has advanced, the appearance of medical devices on abdominal X-rays has become increasingly common. Knowing what to look for, and recognizing what might be wrong, can play a big role in enhancing a patient’s care and improving diagnosis. At the recent European Congress of Radiology (ECR) 2021 meeting, a presenter outlined several devices that appear on these images—for example, gastric bands and Foley catheters—and what should be kept in mind.

USPSTF’s new lung cancer screening guidance lowers starting age – AuntMinnie

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released an updated, final recommendation for CT lung cancer screening that lowers the starting age from 55 to 50 and adjusts smoking history from 30 pack years to 20 pack years. The final recommendation was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).This adjusted guideline should help catch lung cancer earlier, when it is more treatable, and also mitigate healthcare inequities, particularly differences among racial/ethnic groups and between men and women, according to the USPSTF.

Read our special blog series on chest imaging.

New study reveals radiologists now perform the majority of lumbar punctures in the Medicare population – Axis Imaging News

An American Journal of Neurology study found that radiologists performed 54% of lumbar puncture procedures (LPs) in 2017, representing significant growth over the 14-year study. Though lumbar punctures are a common procedure that can be performed by physicians in a variety of specialties, fluoroscopic guidance performed by a radiologist may be necessary in more complex cases. This study evaluated trends in performance of LPs by various medical specialties and may raise the question of whether the shift of LPs from other specialties to radiology is justified. 

How to survive the night shift: Leading expert gives on-call tips – AuntMinnie Europe

Overnight on-call shifts can cause extreme anxiety for radiologists but there are ways to navigate them and improve the experience, according to a presenter at a special trainees’ session at the recent European Congress of Radiology (ECR) 2021 meeting. The presenter stated that overall, radiologists on overnight calls should keep in mind that there are resources available to support them; she also offered 12 recommendations for navigating a first night on call.



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