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February 2009 Briefing - Radiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Radiology for February 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Risk Score May Help Predict Atrial Fibrillation

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed risk score based on readily available clinical factors can predict an individual's absolute risk of developing atrial fibrillation, allowing high-risk individuals to be targeted for prevention, according to research published in the Feb. 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Variables Predicting Cancer After Mammography Identified

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Among women who develop invasive breast cancer after abnormal mammographic findings, the best predictors of cancer are masses and calcifications, with asymmetry and architectural distortions having much lower positive predictive value, researchers report in the March issue of Radiology.

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Pain May Occur After Magnetic Resonance Arthrography

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients may notice pain following magnetic resonance arthrography, particularly several hours after the procedure, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Balloon Kyphoplasty Can Treat Vertebral Fractures

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Painful vertebral fractures can be safely and effectively treated with balloon kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure, according to research published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet.

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More Rapid Communication of Breast Biopsy Results Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Uncertainty while awaiting a final diagnosis following a large-core breast biopsy is associated with an abnormal salivary cortisol profile, indicative of biochemical distress, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.

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US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.

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Racial Disparity Persists in Total Knee Replacements

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparity between blacks and whites in total knee replacement procedures has persisted, despite adoption of a Healthy People 2010 objective to eliminate these disparities, according to a report published in the Feb. 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Use On The Rise

FRIDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- During recent years, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy has become a more commonly used treatment in women with ductal carcinoma in situ, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ads Featuring 'Drug Facts Box' Help Educate Consumers

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing the brief summary in direct-to-consumer ads with a "drug facts box" may result in improved consumer knowledge and judgment about medication benefits and side effects, according to study findings released online Feb. 17 in advance of publication in the Apr. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Breast Imaging Useful for Assessing Cancer Extent

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Breast MRI can be useful for assessing the extent of disease in women diagnosed with breast cancer, but surgical treatment decisions should not be made solely on breast MRI results, according to a review in the February issue of the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

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Surrogate Endpoints Found for Prostate Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Distant metastasis and general clinical treatment failure three years after prostate cancer treatment are effective surrogate endpoints for survival at 10 years, according to a report published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Thrombolysis Window May Be Longer Than Thought

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute stroke may have a diffusion-perfusion mismatch after nine hours of stroke onset, particularly those with proximal arterial occlusion, suggesting the treatment window for stroke may be extended in some cases, according to the results of a study published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Multislice Imaging Predicts Cardiac Events

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Multislice computed tomography (MSCT) coronary angiography independently predicts death and heart attack and provides additional prognostic information over myocardial perfusion imaging in patients with suspected coronary artery disease, researchers report in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Contrast Echocardiography Improves Cardiac Evaluation

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Using contrast echocardiography to assess patients' ventricular function significantly reduces the number of procedures, improves the accuracy of drug prescription and improves patient management, according to a report published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Brain Atrophy Pattern May Predict Cognitive Decline

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A pattern of brain atrophy can discriminate between people with mild Alzheimer's disease and healthy individuals, according to research published online Feb. 6 in Radiology.

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Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Locoregional Treatment of Breast Cancer Effective

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Locoregional treatment of advanced breast cancer, consisting of locoregional radiotherapy to the breast and regional lymphatics in most cases, is effective in improving survival, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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RFA May Offer Benefit in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may provide better three-year overall survival for patients with small hepatocellular carcinomas compared with percutaneous ethanol injection, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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ASCO Guide Addresses High Costs of Cancer Care

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Communication between patients and their doctors regarding the high cost of cancer care may be improved with the Feb. 5 release of a new patient guide from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

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C-Arm Fluoroscopes Carry Radiation Exposure Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic surgeons who use large-c-arm and mini-C-arm fluoroscopy to examine patients should be mindful of their exposure to radiation, particularly when imaging body parts larger than the hand or wrist or when the extremity is closer to the x-ray source, according to a report published in the February issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Immediate Imaging Does Not Help Treat Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical care without immediate imaging yields similar results as care with immediate imaging for patients with low back pain and no indication of serious underlying illness, according to an article published in the Feb. 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Exercise, Endovascular Therapy Help Claudication

FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treating intermittent claudication with revascularization may offer immediate advantages over a supervised exercise intervention, but the two offer similar benefits after six months, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Nanoprobe Points to Outcome Following Tumor Treatment

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A method of assessing vascular permeability in tumors in rats using a nanoprobe helped predict the effect of later treatment with liposomal doxorubicin, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Hormonal Therapy Link to Breast Cancer Explored

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A decline in the use of combined hormone therapy appears responsible for a decreased incidence of breast cancer among women, according to research published Feb. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Baby Formula with Melamine Linked to Urinary Tract Stones

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to infant formula contaminated with melamine was associated with kidney stones in children in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though conventional signs and symptoms of nephrolithiasis were lacking, according to a study and two letters published online Feb. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cardiac Imaging Use Must Consider Risks and Rewards

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The decision to use cardiac imaging tests should take into account the potential risks of malignancy due to radiation exposure, as well as the benefits of the test, according to an American Heart Association science advisory published online Feb. 2 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Asthma Lung Changes Relatively Constant with Time

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The degree and extent of focal airway narrowing and their regional distribution are relatively constant over time in asthma patients, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Renal Failure, Contrast Agent Linked to Systemic Fibrosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Awareness of risk factors involved in the suspected link between nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) and gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) may help clinicians reduce the risk of this condition in patients, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Computer-Aided Detection Improves Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Using computer-aided detection in conjunction with traditional computed tomographic (CT) colonography screening is a cost-effective way to improve colorectal cancer prevention, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Radiation Dose in Angiography Similar to Other Procedures

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The radiation dose associated with cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is comparable to other diagnostic procedures, but varies depending on site and computed tomography system used, according to research published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Aggressive Therapy Beneficial for Ependymoma Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Gross-total resection, including second surgery for patients with an incomplete first surgery, plus high-dose postoperative radiotherapy provides long-term benefits in local tumor control, event-free survival and overall survival for children with localized ependymoma, according to research published online Jan. 31 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Consensus Review Improves Breast Cancer Detection

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Consensus review of discordant mammography findings improves cancer detection while reducing the number of unnecessary and stressful callbacks of non-cancer patients for further assessment, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Microcoils Effective to Guide Lung Nodule Removal

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography-guided placement of microcoils to guide video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) excision of lung nodules is safe and effective with few complications, according to study findings published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Physician's Briefing
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