Diagnostic Reading #33: Five “Must Read” Articles on Medical Imaging
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Balancing dose and image quality in pediatrics is in the news.
This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: body position affects X-ray dose; pairing mammo with ultrasound improves cancer detection; portable MRIs help ID, treat stroke patients; rads should weigh earlier follow up; and VR game improves MRI compliance.
Imaging children in supine positions to constrain motion and reduce image distortions results in higher radiation exposure than when patients are standing, according to a study published in PLOS One. Studies suggest that because they are more sensitive, radiation-induced cancer may be up to three times higher in children than adults. Standing anterior-posterior (AP) and standing posterior-anterior (PA) digital chest X-rays are primarily used for cooperative children, while supine AP projection is often selected for uncooperative children to improve image quality. Read our blog on Balancing Dose with Image Quality in Pediatric Imaging.
Supplemental ultrasound screening paired with mammography can potentially improve cancer detection across all breast types, according to research published in JAMA Network Open. Though mammography has been shown to reduce deaths, its sensitivity plummets for those with dense tissue. However, ultrasound is showing promise improving those rates. Study authors advise that ultimately—taking all results into account—breast density should not be the sole criterion for deciding whether supplemental imaging is justified.
Portable MRI provides life-saving information to physicians treating strokes – Axis Imaging News
A Yale University-led study shows that a portable MRI device can help identify intracranial hemorrhages—providing potentially life-saving information particularly in areas or situations where access to sophisticated brain imaging scans is not readily available. Researchers stated that a portable MRI system costs a fraction of traditional MRI technologies and can be used almost anywhere by medical technicians with minimal training.
Scheduling follow-up exams for probably benign lung nodules one month earlier than current guidelines recommend leads to better health outcomes, experts stated in JACR. The American College of Radiology’s Lung CT Screening and Reporting Data System was developed primarily to reduce false positives and standardize radiologists’ reporting, and while successful, there has been little research into Lung-RADS follow-up guidance. Recent evidence suggests providers may want to order follow-up CTs earlier to help reduce mortality rates.
Virtual reality game improves patient MRI compliance – MedImaging
A game played using a virtual reality (VR) headset helps patients undergoing an MRI scan fulfill stillness requirements and overcome their fears. The MRI Stillness Game, developed by Reimagine Well, uses a VR headset to detect head movement during a pre-MRI training session, which rewards stillness, so that scans and radiation treatments can be as short and accurate as possible. People undergoing an MRI scan often need to minimize movements for up to 10 minutes at a time to maximize scan quality and reduce artifacts.