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March 2011 Briefing - Radiology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Radiology for March 2011. 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.

Small Number of Second Cancers Linked to Radiotherapy

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Only a small proportion of second cancers are attributable to radiotherapy for primary tumors in adults, according to a study published online March 30 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Accurate Cerebral Aneurysm Diagnosis by CT Angiography

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomographic (CT) angiography, especially by modern multidetector CT, is a highly accurate tool for diagnosing cerebral aneurysms, according to a meta-analysis published online March 9 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Online Health Records Less Used by Minorities, Poor

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Online personal health records (PHRs) are less frequently used by racial or ethnic minorities and patients with low annual income, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Radiation Risk From Airport Full-Body Scanners Limited

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Full-body scanners being deployed by the Transportation Security Administration in airports throughout the United States do not appear to increase risks related to radiation exposure, according to a special article published online March 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Hormone Therapy Improves Prostate Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In men with locally advanced prostate cancer, six months of hormone therapy combined with radiation significantly reduces prostate-cancer-specific and all-cause mortality compared with radiotherapy alone, according to a study published online March 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Thromboembolism May Recur With Residual Vein Obstruction

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with provoked or unprovoked deep vein thrombosis (DVT), residual vein obstruction (RVO) is associated with a slight increase in the risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) but does not seem to predict recurrent VTE in patients with unprovoked DVT following discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy, according to a meta-analysis published online March 7 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Reduced Hours for Trainees Has Had Little Effect in U.S.

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing work hours for doctors in training to less than 80 per week has had little impact on patient outcomes or postgraduate training in the United States, according to a literature review published online March 22 in BMJ.

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Low-Dose Imaging Effective for Ruling Out CAD

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose coronary computed tomography (CT) appears as sensitive as catheter-based angiography and may provide a non-invasive alternative to the latter for ruling out coronary artery disease (CAD) in symptomatic patients, according to a meta-analysis published in the March 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Professional Values of U.S. and U.K. Doctors Examined

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- A core of professional values exists among doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom, though significant differences exist in how these values are expressed and prioritized, according to a study published online March 7 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Short Nurse Staffing Linked to Higher Patient Mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patient mortality appears to be higher when nurse staffing falls eight or more hours below target level and during nursing shifts when patient turnover is high, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gadavist Approved to Enhance Nervous System Imaging

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Gadavist (gadobutrol) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a contrast agent for people undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the central nervous system.

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Use of Virtual Colonoscopy Increasing

MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Even though Medicare does not cover computed tomographic-colonography (CTC), its use in hospitals is increasing, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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Lower Survival Associated With GI Brain Metastasis

FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical resection and whole brain radiation therapy of gastrointestinal (GI) brain metastases is associated with prolonged survival and improved quality of life, but survival is still lower compared to metastases arising from other tumors, according to a review published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.

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Interstitial Lung Abnormalities Tied to Reduced Lung Capacity

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Interstitial lung abnormalities on high-resolution computed tomographic (HRCT) scans appear to be associated with reduced total lung capacity and a lesser amount of emphysema among smokers, according to a study published in the March 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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HealthGrades Finds Rates of Patient Safety Events Vary

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients treated at hospitals rated with a HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award have, on average, a 46 percent lower risk of experiencing a patient safety incident compared to those treated at the lowest-ranked hospitals, according to the eighth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study published online March 9.

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Ethnic Differences Seen in Academic Measures for U.K. Docs

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- United Kingdom-trained physicians and medical students with ethnic minority backgrounds tend to underperform academically compared to their white peers, according to a meta-analysis published online March 8 in BMJ.

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Pharmacological Meta-Analyses Rarely Report Disclosures

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Meta-analyses of pharmacological treatments rarely include information addressing primary study funding and conflicts of interest (COIs) of the authors for the included randomized control trials (RCTs), according to a study published in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fatty Liver Independently Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound-diagnosed fatty liver is independently associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a study published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Cancer Patients Willing to Undergo Pre-Trial Testing

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced malignancies appear to be quite willing to undergo pharmacodynamic (PD) and pharmacokinetic (PK) tests in order to be enrolled in clinical trials, according to research published online Jan. 18 in Cancer.

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Smoking Hurts Head-and-Neck Cancer Outcomes

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smoking during radiation therapy for head-and-neck cancer is associated with a worse clinical outcome, according to a study published in the February issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics.

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Progressive Spinal Metastases Respond to Reirradiation

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Stereotactic body radiotherapy results in good radiographic control and limited toxicity in progressive spinal metastases, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.

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Women With Fibroids Prefer Minimally Invasive Treatment

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women are willing to wait longer with their symptoms to delay a more invasive procedure for uterine fibroids compared to how long they would delay a noninvasive one, according to a study published online March 1 in Radiology.

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Role of Diabetes in Premature Death Is Substantial

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes is substantially associated with premature mortality from cancers, infectious diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, and degenerative disorders, according to research published in the March 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing