Diagnostic Reading #29: Five “Must Read” Articles on Medical Imaging
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In the news: MRI helps predict addition recovery.
This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: CT scans provide critical data on brain injuries; ultrasound screens for scoliosis; Mr. Spock’s salute identifies painful foot condition; personalized approach is best for delivering results; and structural MRI helps predict addiction recovery.
CT offers details on concussion recovery – Diagnostic Imaging
Patterns of injury picked up by CT scans of the brain can give radiologists details about the risk of long-term impairment and possible recovery in patients who have suffered a concussion, according to a study published in JAMA Neurology. Though links between features seen on CT images and the impacts of brain injuries have already been established, this is the first time they’ve been associated with concussion. Identifying these patterns are critical as patients with concussion also can develop lingering problems, noted one study author.
Using dedicated ultrasound to screen schoolchildren for scoliosis prior to specialist referral can help reduce radiation exposure, according to a study published in Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. Results showed that ultrasound could predict the correct referral status—as confirmed by X-ray—with a sensitivity of more than 92% and a specificity of more than 51%. The findings support using ultrasound to determine scoliosis referral status, with a possible 50% or more reduction of unnecessary radiation.
Musculoskeletal radiologists found that the Vulcan salute—Mr. Spock’s unique gesture from “Star Trek”—can help diagnose a type of foot neuroma on an X-ray. “The Vulcan salute sign on conventional radiographs is specific for Morton’s neuroma,” wrote one radiologist in Skeletal Radiology. Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that can lead to a divergence of the toes.
Although there has been a push to increase radiologists’ visibility by communicating results directly to patients, recent research shows providers and patients don’t agree on this topic, and suggests an individualized approach for delivering findings may be best, researchers asserted in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Imaging results can be presented in many ways, including via web portals, or from referring physicians, nurse coordinators or radiologists.
Structural MRI has shown promise predicting whether patients recovering from opioid addiction may be at risk of relapse, according to research published in NeuroImage:Clinical. This diagnostic method combines imaging and machine learning to seek patterns in functional connectivity and brain structure data. Study authors noted their findings showed MRI’s sensitivity to help determine the long-term neural effects of prescription opioid addiction and concluded that imaging could prove useful in managing this patient population.