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Computed Tomography News

Doctors Should Bone Up on CT Scan Cancer Risks

Posted 15 Jul 2016 by

FRIDAY, July 15, 2016 – Doctors routinely order CT scans as diagnostic tools. But many are ill-informed about the cancer risks associated with this imaging technology, a new study suggests. Patients who undergo CT scans are exposed to harmful ionizing radiation, which could affect their lifetime risk for developing cancer, Canadian researchers said. "Underestimating radiation dose from a CT scan ... may lead to minimization of the risk estimate when considering a test," said the study's lead investigator, Dr. David Leswick, of the medical imaging department at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. For the study, the researchers surveyed doctors, radiologists and imaging technologists about radiation exposure from CT scans. They found the vast majority knew that one abdominal-pelvic CT increases patients' risk for cancer. But many didn't know how the dose compared to ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Computed Tomography, Head Imaging

For Stroke Patients, Temporary Easing of Symptoms Can Be Deceiving

Posted 18 Feb 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 – A quick improvement in symptoms before a stroke patient arrives at the hospital doesn't necessarily mean a better outcome, a new study finds. "Patients with very early rapid neurological improvement when first examined at the hospital still need to be considered for therapy to dissolve blood clots, given the high rate of unfavorable outcome," study author Dr. Clotilde Balucani said in a news release from the American Stroke Association (ASA). Her team was slated to present the findings on Wednesday at the association's annual meeting, in Los Angeles. The study included 1,700 stroke patients, average age 70, who were assessed for symptoms such as facial droop, difficulties with speech, weak hand grip and arm strength. However, about a fifth of the patients showed a rapid improvement of stroke symptoms like these. Those patients were less likely to have high ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Streptokinase, Computed Tomography, Abbokinase, Abbokinase Open-Cath, Kinlytic, Head Imaging, Kabikinase, Urokinase, Streptase

Slowed Walking in Seniors May Signal Alzheimer's Danger

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – Seniors who walk more slowly may have higher amounts of a protein linked to Alzheimer's in their brains, a small, new study suggests. Researchers found a modest association between higher levels of amyloid plaques – dense deposits of a protein known as beta amyloid – and slower walking speeds among older adults. "These results suggest that subtle walking disturbances, in addition to subjective memory concerns, may signal Alzheimer's disease, even in people who are fully asymptomatic and have a walking pace within the normal range," said study author Natalia del Campo, scientific manager of the Centre of Excellence in Neurodegeneration in Toulouse, France. "Taking into account physical parameters that are not conventionally looked at in Alzheimer's disease, such as gait speed, may help optimize the early identification of patients at risk," added del Campo, ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

Doctors Save Life of U.S. Child With Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Posted 16 Nov 2015 by

SUNDAY, Nov. 15, 2015 – A 5-year-old child from the United States, stricken at age 2 with a deadly form of tuberculosis after traveling to India, is finally in remission, researchers report. The case, one of only a handful reported in the medical literature, highlights the difficulties of treating an extensively drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, known as XDR TB, in children, the researchers said. The case also highlights the growing global threat of this virulent form of TB and the risk to Americans traveling in countries where there is a high burden of disease. A detailed account of the child's diagnosis and treatment, and the obstacles that clinicians at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore faced, was published in the Nov. 16 online edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Study co-author Dr. Sanjay Jain, an associate professor of pediatrics and international health at ... Read more

Related support groups: Tuberculosis - Latent, Tuberculosis - Active, Diagnosis and Investigation, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Computed Tomography, Tuberculosis - Resistant

Tapeworm May Have Spread Cancer Cells to Colombian Man

Posted 4 Nov 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 – Cancer cells transmitted from a common tapeworm appear to have caused cancer-like tumors in a Colombian man with HIV – the first known case of what's called "malignant transformation," U.S. health officials are reporting. The parasite – known as Hymenolepis nana, or the dwarf tapeworm – is the most common human tapeworm worldwide, particularly in developing nations. At any given time, up to 75 million people carry it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People can become infected with dwarf tapeworm eggs when they eat food contaminated with mouse droppings or insects, or ingest fecal matter from people carrying the parasite. Usually, the invasion causes no symptoms, but in some people, the dwarf tapeworm can continue to reproduce itself in the intestines, according to the case report. In the case of the man with HIV, CDC ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, HIV Infection, Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf Tapeworm), Computed Tomography

CT Scans for Lung Cancer Turn Up Few False-Positives: Study

Posted 1 Oct 2015 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2015 – Recently, CT-based screening for lung cancer in long-term smokers has been recommended by experts, and the scans are now covered by Medicare and some private insurers. But will these scans result in too many false-positive findings, causing patients unnecessary surgeries and trauma? A new study suggests otherwise. Researchers at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., tracked outcomes for almost 1,700 patients. The patients underwent low-dose CT screening for lung cancer at the hospital between 2012 and mid-2014. According to the researchers, false-positive findings were uncommon. "Surgical intervention for a non-lung cancer diagnosis was rare – five out of 1,654 patients or 0.3 percent," study co-leader Bryan Walker said in a news release from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. "That incidence is comparable to the 0.62 percent rate found in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

CT Scan Use in Children Dropped Over Past Decade

Posted 24 Aug 2015 by

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 – Children are receiving fewer CT scans now than a decade ago, dovetailing with a move to radiation-free MRI scans and ultrasounds, a recent study shows. Though several reasons might explain the shift, the study's lead author, Dr. Michelle Parker, said the underlying reason may be a push to limit youngsters' exposure to radiation. "Over the time of our study, there has been a deliberate push to increase awareness of the potential harms of ionizing radiation," said Parker, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. CT scans, or computed tomography, use ionizing radiation, like X-rays, to provide detailed views of internal organs, soft tissue and blood vessels. Ionizing radiation has been linked to an increased cancer risk. Neither MRIs nor ultrasounds involve radiation. MRIs use a large magnet to create images and have no known ... Read more

Related support groups: Ultrasound, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Computed Tomography, Vascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Cell Damage Occurs When People Have CT Scans: Study

Posted 22 Jul 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 – Cellular damage occurs when people undergo CT scans, but whether or not this causes cancer or any other health problems is unclear, a new study finds. "The use of medical imaging for heart disease has exploded in the past decade," study senior author Dr. Joseph Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, said in a Stanford news release. "These tests expose patients to a non-trivial amount of low-dose radiation," Wu added. "But nobody really knows exactly what this low-dose radiation does to the patient. We now have the technology that allows us to look at very subtle, cell-level changes." In the study, Wu's team examined the blood of 67 people before and after they had undergone a heart CT scan. After the scans, the research did show an increase in DNA damage in cells, as well as cell death. There was also increased expression of genes involved in ... Read more

Related support groups: Computed Tomography

Lung Scans May Help Track Suspicious Masses, Study Says

Posted 23 Jun 2015 by

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 – For people with noncancerous lung nodules, which are small masses of tissue, annual CT scans may be all that's needed to monitor their condition, a new study suggests. Such monitoring could potentially save people from unneeded treatments, the researchers said. "A safe approach that involves careful observation can safely be employed for the management of non-solid nodules," said lead researcher Dr. Claudia Henschke, director of lung cancer screening at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Lung nodules can be benign or cancerous. They are classified as solid, part solid or non-solid, based on their appearance on a CT scan. In non-solid lung nodules, normal lung tissue is visible through the nodule. Non-solid nodules could be caused by inflammation, infection or fibrosis, and could be cancerous or precancerous, Henschke said. Lung cancer that starts ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

Malpractice Fears Spurring Most ER Docs to Order Unnecessary Tests

Posted 24 Mar 2015 by

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 – Nearly all emergency room doctors surveyed order pricey MRIs or CT scans their patients may not need, mainly because they fear malpractice lawsuits, according to a new report. Of 435 ER physicians who completed the survey, 97 percent admitted to ordering some advanced imaging scans that weren't medically necessary, the findings showed. Such scans contribute to the estimated $210 billion wasted annually on unnecessary tests, procedures and treatments, the researchers contended. Physicians said they ordered too many imaging tests because they are worried about missing an unlikely – but possible – illness, and fear being sued if they don't cover all their bases, the survey revealed. The ER docs surveyed also suspect they aren't the only staff doing this. More than 85 percent believe too many diagnostic tests are ordered in their own emergency departments, by ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography, Vascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging

CT Scans Might Spot Heart Risks More Clearly in Patients With Chest Pain

Posted 15 Mar 2015 by

SUNDAY, March 15, 2015 – New research suggests that CT scans may help doctors do a better job of diagnosing heart disease in patients with chest pain, compared to standard tests. A Scottish team found that CT scans seemed to spot more heart problems and allowed doctors to act to lower the risk of a heart attack. "A CT scan clarifies the diagnosis, changes treatments and may reduce the risk of a heart attack," said chief investigator Dr. David Newby, a professor at the University of Edinburgh. The patients in question were suffering from chest pain and suspected heart disease. In most cases, the disease is caused by clogged arteries that disrupt the flow of blood in the body. "The chest pain, or angina, is a tightness in the chest which comes on when they exert themselves," Newby said. "Patients are usually seen in the clinic and can undergo a range of potential tests that could include ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

Study Gauges Value of CT Scans for Heart Patients

Posted 15 Mar 2015 by

SATURDAY, March 14, 2015 – In the first head-to-head study of its kind, researchers say that CT scans may offer some advantages over traditional "functional stress tests" for people with symptoms of heart disease. As explained in a news release from the American College of Cardiology (ACC), a heart CT scan gives doctors 3-D images that they can use to assess the degree of narrowing in the heart's arteries. A functional test uses electrical signals, sound waves or imaging to monitor the heart's response to stress, the ACC said. Both CT scans and functional tests are widely used but have never before been compared head-to-head in terms of patient outcomes, according to a team led by Dr. Pamela Douglas, a heart disease expert at Duke University in Durham, N.C. In the new study, Douglas and colleagues tracked outcomes for more than 10,000 patients with suspected heart disease who were ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

Injected Substance Used With CT Scans Seems Safe for Kidneys: Study

Posted 9 Sep 2014 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 – An injected iodine-based substance often used to enhance the images produced by CT scans is safe for most patients, a new study reveals. The so-called contrast material is used in at least half of the 80 million or more CT scans performed in the United States each year, according to study author Dr. Robert McDonald, a radiology resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Some studies have linked iodine-based contrast CTs to kidney damage, a condition known as contrast-induced nephropathy. However, some of that research dates back to the 1950s, according to the new study. To get a better idea of what the current risk might be, McDonald and colleagues analyzed data on almost 11,000 patients who underwent contrast-enhanced CT exams, comparing them to about the same number of patients who underwent non-contrast CT exams. The investigators found no significant ... Read more

Related support groups: Computed Tomography

Study Questions FDA Warning Against CT Scans for Those With Heart Devices

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2014 – Despite a U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning six years ago, a new study finds that there appears to be no danger from CT scans for people with implanted pacemakers or defibrillators. In 2008, the FDA cautioned that the radiation used in CT scans could cause these devices to malfunction. Specifically, the agency warned that the scans might cause unintended shocks from internal defibrillators or cause pacemakers to change the heart's pumping rate, making it too fast or too slow. One researcher involved with the study questioned whether the warning was necessary. "If you talk to radiologists, they do hundreds of thousands of CT scans, and they can't remember any of them going wrong," said lead researcher Dr. Timm-Michael Dickfeld, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In his study ... Read more

Related support groups: Computed Tomography

U.S. Panel Backs Routine Lung CT Scans for Older, Heavy Smokers

Posted 30 Dec 2013 by

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 – A highly influential government panel of experts says that older smokers at high risk of lung cancer should receive annual low-dose CT scans to help detect and possibly prevent the spread of the fatal disease. In its final word on the issue published Dec. 30, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that the benefits to a very specific segment of smokers outweigh the risks involved in receiving the annual scans, said co-vice chair Dr. Michael LeFevre, a distinguished professor of family medicine at the University of Missouri. Specifically, the task force recommended annual low-dose CT scans for current and former smokers aged 55 to 80 with at least a 30 "pack-year" history of smoking who have had a cigarette sometime within the last 15 years. The person also should be generally healthy and a good candidate for surgery should cancer be found, ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Diagnosis and Investigation, Computed Tomography

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