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Tuesday, Dec. 1: News From the 95th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 General News J E 4
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CHICAGO, Dec. 1

Overweight Children May Develop Back Pain and Spinal Abnormalities

A study from The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City found that children who are overweight may be causing damage to their spines. Researchers reviewed MR images of the spines of 188 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 who complained of back pain and were imaged at the hospital over a four-year period. The results showed an association between lumbar disc disease and higher body mass index (BMI), with lumbar spine abnormalities seen in 68.5 percent of adolescents with elevated BMI, compared to 34.6 percent of children with normal or below-average BMI. Approximately 18 percent of U.S. adolescents are overweight. This study will be presented by Judah Burns, M.D.

Childhood Lead Exposure Causes Permanent Brain Damage

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate brain function, researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center determined that adults who were exposed to lead as children incur permanent brain injury. The study involved 33 adults who were enrolled as infants in the Cincinnati Lead Study. The participants' mean blood lead levels ranged from 5 to 37 micrograms per deciliter with a mean of 14. Participant histories showed IQ deficiencies, juvenile delinquency and a number of criminal arrests. The imaging tests revealed that the area of the brain responsible for inhibition is damaged by lead exposure. According to the researchers, the frontal lobe, which is the last part of the brain to develop, incurs multiple insults from lead exposure as it matures. This study will be presented by Kim Cecil, Ph.D.

Special Ultrasound Accurately Identifies Skin Cancer

A new study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that high-frequency ultrasound with elastography may improve skin cancer detection. For the study, researchers used an ultra high-frequency ultrasound system to image 40 patients with a variety of malignant and benign skin lesions. Elastography accurately distinguished between cancerous and noncancerous lesions by measuring elasticity. The elasticity ratio of normal skin to the various skin lesions ranged from 0.04 to 0.3 for cystic skin lesions to above 10.0 for malignant lesions. In addition, elastography provided a more accurate measure of the extent and depth of the lesion below the surface. This study will be presented by Eliot L. Siegel, M.D.

Severe Asymptomatic Heart Disease May Accompany Narrowing in Leg Arteries

Results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial from University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands reveal that one in five patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) also have significant but silent coronary artery disease. PAD occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the legs and other parts of the body. In the clinical trial, 108 PAD patients received standard care, consisting of lifestyle changes and medication, and 115 patients underwent cardiac imaging of the heart in addition to standard care. In total, 24 (21 percent) of the 115 patients who underwent imaging had evidence of asymptomatic but severe coronary artery disease that required additional treatment. Eight million Americans are affected by PAD. This study will be presented by Rozemarijn Vliegenthart Proenca, M.D., Ph.D.

Mammography May Increase Breast Cancer Risk in Some High-Risk Women

Low-dose radiation from annual mammography screening may increase breast cancer risk in women with genetic or familial predisposition to breast cancer, according to a new study from University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. The researchers conducted an analysis of peer-reviewed, published medical research and found that average increased risk of breast cancer among high-risk women due to low-dose radiation exposure from mammography was 1.5 times greater than that of high-risk women not exposed to low-dose radiation. High-risk women exposed before age 20 or with five or more exposures were 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than high-risk women not exposed to low-dose radiation. This study will be presented by Marijke C. Jansen-van der Weide, Ph.D.

MRI Helps Detect Life-Threatening Pregnancy Complication

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego have found that MRI is 90 percent accurate in identifying placenta accreta, a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication that is the leading cause of death for women just before and after giving birth. Placenta accreta, in which the placenta attaches too deeply to a woman's uterus, is most dangerous when the condition is not detected until the time of delivery and can lead to massive hemorrhage. Incidence of placenta accreta has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, partly owing to the increase in cesarean-section deliveries. This study will be presented by Reena Malhotra, M.D., and Michele A. Brown, M.D.

Wednesday news conferences feature two studies on breast ultrasound, a minimally invasive treatment for sciatica and a special mammography panel to discuss the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force revised screening mammography guidelines.

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
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