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February 2010 Briefing - Radiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Radiology for February 2010. 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.

Radiographs Help Predict Curve Flexibility in Scoliosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In the prediction of curve flexibility and postoperative correction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, traction under general anesthesia radiographs perform equivalently to supine bending radiographs, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Biggest Concern About Airport Scanners May Be Privacy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The use of full-body scanners as part of airport security carries a negligible health risk due to radiation, but there are still valid concerns about invasion of privacy, according to an editorial published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Drug Addition Found to Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Activity

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of daclizumab to interferon beta treatment reduces brain lesion formation in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis, possibly by increasing the number of a subset of natural killer cells, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Lumbar Fusion Linked to Improved Driver Reaction Time

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The driver reaction time (DRT) in patients a week after lumbar fusion surgery is not significantly slower than their preoperative DRT, and after three months recovery their DRT may be faster than their preoperative DRT, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Mechanism Identified

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An oncogene tumor-suppressor cascade may drive metastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Nature Medicine.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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Shoulder Injuries Compared in High School Baseball, Softball

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although high school baseball and softball players tend to have similar rates of shoulder injuries, there are factors at play that may help improve preventive efforts, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In contradiction of professional guidelines, the absence of coronary calcification in blood vessels does not rule out the potential existence of stenosis, and should not be used to decide if revascularization is needed, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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MRI Benefit in Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Questioned

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in addition to the usual triple assessment for breast cancer diagnosis does not reduce the risk of repeat operation and is not a good use of resources, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of The Lancet.

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Vesicoureteral Reflux Treatment in Children Studied

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The treating hospital is the most important factor affecting treatment choice in children with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), a condition characterized by an abnormal flow of urine from the bladder back into the ureter, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Breast Arterial Calcium Not Found to Be Predictive of CAD

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Breast arterial calcium (BAC) deposits that show up on mammograms are not a useful tool for predicting the odds of coronary artery disease in women who are at medium or high risk, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Study Finds Speckle Tracking Aids in Patient Selection

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Radial dyssynchrony by speckle tracking may be useful in predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with borderline QRS and wide QRS durations, according to research published in the February Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Protein May Block Letrozole Therapy in Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The overexpression of low-molecular-weight cyclin E (LMW-E) in the tumors of many menopausal women with estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers nullifies the effects of letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor. However, letrozole's effect can be restored by adding the cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor roscovitine to treatment, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Myocarditis Linked to Pandemic H1N1 Flu in Children

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Several cases of fulminant myocarditis, a rare complication of viral infection, have been identified among children infected with H1N1 pandemic influenza during a one month period, according to the results of a retrospective chart review published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Laparoscopic Practice Takes Physical Toll on Surgeons

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery suffer pain, numbness, stiffness, fatigue and other physical symptoms, often as a result of high case load, according to a study published online Dec. 24 ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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Study Supports Accelerated Whole-Breast Irradiation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Whole-breast irradiation spread over fewer days (accelerated, hypofractionated radiation) following breast-conserving surgery for cancer appears non-inferior to standard radiation treatment, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. This adds to a study recently released Online First in The Lancet Oncology, which showed that hypofractionated radiotherapy for breast cancer patients may provide a better quality of life with no evidence of an increase in adverse effects.

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Reducing Skin Toxicity During Cancer Treatment Studied

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preemptive treatment reduces the development of high-grade skin toxicity (the most common adverse event observed with inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor) by more than half in patients with colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab-containing therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Better Quality of Life Linked to Hypofractionated Radiation Doses

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation given as fewer but larger doses (hypofractionated radiotherapy) is associated with better quality of life than the standard treatment of more lower doses in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in The Lancet Oncology.

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AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

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Active Bowel Disease May Increase Blood Clot Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a much greater risk of suffering a venous thromboembolism than people in the general population without the bowel condition, particularly during periods of active disease, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in The Lancet.

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Bedside Blood Test Found to Detect Anticoagulation Status

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new bedside blood test can be used to determine the sufficiency of anticoagulation in patients who are about to undergo catheterization or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Outcomes Improving in Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), intensive medical therapy has significantly reduced microemboli on transcranial Doppler as well as cardiovascular events, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.

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Thomas Medical Announces Recall of Safesheath Product

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Thomas Medical Products Inc. have notified health care professionals of a recall of certain lots of the Safesheath Coronary Sinus Guide Hemostatic Introducer System with Infusion Sideport.

Recall Notification
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Backpack Weight Linked to Back Issues in Children

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing backpack loads are associated with more back pain, lumbar asymmetry, and decreases in lumbar disc height in children, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.

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Communication Found Possible With Some Coma Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Basic communication can be established with some disorders-of-consciousness patients who are otherwise unresponsive, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure neuroanatomically specific, blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses to mental imagery tasks, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vendors of Imaging Equipment Urged to Allow Tracked Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Due to the increasing exposure to diagnostic radiation, vendors of imaging equipment should allow tracking of radiation exposure, according to an opinion article in the February Journal of the American College of Radiology. A related opinion in the same issue notes that diagnostic radiation exposure has the potential to harm not only the individual but also future generations through processes such as epigenetics.

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

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Hippocampal Volume Found to Increase With Aerobic Exercise

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise can increase the volume of the hippocampus in schizophrenia patients, and may have a role in the treatment of disabilities associated with the condition, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Xiaflex Approved for Rare Hand Condition

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (Xiaflex) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first drug to treat a disabling hand condition called Dupuytren's contracture.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Computed Tomography Shows Advantage in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) appears to hold an advantage over magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for ruling out coronary artery disease, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Anticoagulation and Risk of VTE Studied in Suspected DVT

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with suspected lower extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), those with a negative whole-leg compression ultrasound (CUS) and no anticoagulation therapy are at low risk of venous thromboembolism, according to a meta-analysis reported in the Feb. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

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Algorithm Developed to Segment the Meniscus in MRIs

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Semi-automated segmentation of magnetic resonance images can accurately assess the lateral meniscus in patients with and without knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

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Physician's Briefing