The annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America was held from Dec. 1 to 6 in Chicago and attracted approximately 55,000 participants from around the world, including radiologists, radiation oncologists, physicists in medicine, radiologic technologists, and other health care professionals. The conference featured scientific papers in a number of subspecialties covering the newest trends in radiological research as well as education and informatics exhibits.
In one study, Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, and colleagues found the hypothalamus to be significantly smaller in young women taking oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) than in those not taking OCPs.
“This finding is consistent with prior studies in animals and of other brain areas in humans, but has yet undetermined significance. It may simply reflect the normal action of the drug, for example,” Lipton said. “It is too soon to modify clinical practice, but OCP use should be a consideration in research studies.”
In another study, Corbin L. Pomeranz, M.D., of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues found that patients who had chest or abdominal injuries from gunshot wounds were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital. In addition, patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit during a prior gunshot wound were also more likely to be readmitted.
“Where you get shot can have a great impact on your long-term health. Hospitals need to start identifying patients who are at risk of being readmitted to the hospital so they can implement preventive measures to keep patients home and out of the hospital,” Pomeranz said. “Radiologists can play a pivotal role by helping to create a location/organ severity scale based on available imaging findings that could help health care professionals predict long-term consequences, extrapolate costs, and calculate quality-adjusted life years.”
Pomeranz added that most people do not associate radiology with acute trauma in the hospital, but radiologists receive the most inbound referrals of any specialist, including referrals for traumatic injuries.
“Radiology departments at level 1 trauma centers in busy metropolitan areas can play a pivotal role in collecting gun violence data. Furthermore, academic radiology departments contain a wealth of imaging data that can be evaluated years after the initial patient encounter,” Pomeranz said. “The study is small and only used data from one hospital. The next step is to expand the research to include more patients across multiple hospitals and regions.”
Rupa Radhakrishnan, M.D., of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues found differences in brain functional connectivity in infants exposed to opioids in the womb compared with infants who were not exposed.
“Our early results suggest significant differences in brain functional connectivity in infants exposed to opioids in utero, when compared to infants not exposed to opioids in a small cohort of infants. This is exciting, because it provides us with a direction for future studies,” Radhakrishnan said. “We are now conducting larger studies to better characterize these differences in brain activity and understand how these changes would influence long-term behavior and neurodevelopmental outcomes.”
If these findings are validated in larger studies, Radhakrishnan said that these methods could be used to compare the effect of different prenatal opioid replacement therapies and nonmedication strategies on infant brain development.
“These methods could also potentially screen infants at risk for neonatal abstinence syndrome and poor long-term neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes. Identification of these at-risk infants early would allow for early and more personalized interventions to improve long-term outcomes,” Radhakrishnan said.
Steven S. Raman, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues, found magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) to be safe and well tolerated in patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. Specifically, MRI-guided TULSA enabled greater than 90 percent reduction in prostate-specific antigen and elimination of clinically significant prostate cancer in 80 percent of patients. Furthermore, no significant complications were reported.
“MRI-guided TULSA was a safe and effective procedure for treatment of intermediate-risk prostate cancer,” Raman said. “This approach is a paradigm-changing technology for intermediate-risk prostate cancer and prostate tissue treatment.”
The study was funded by Profound Medical, the manufacturer of the TULSA-PRO.
For another study, Melanie Wegener, M.D., of New York University Langone Health in New York City, and colleagues examined how the corpus callosum is affected by concussion.
“We did this using two really innovative advances. First, we had all subjects (healthy and concussed patients) undergo brain MRIs in order to infer the microstructural integrity of the corpus callosum,” Wegener said. “Secondly, we had all subjects perform a visual stimulus response test that allowed us to determine how fast the brain processes information.”
The investigators found that in healthy brains, there is a normal relationship between microstructure in the corpus callosum and processing speed. This relationship is altered after concussion.
“The information gained from this study could potentially help triage concussed patients and allow for better evaluation of treatment response,” Wegener said.
RSNA: Brachytherapy Treats Skin Cancer in Elderly Patients
THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Excellent local control and cosmetic outcomes are observed in elderly patients receiving high dose-rate brachytherapy for early-stage nonmelanoma skin cancer of the head and neck region, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Dec. 1 to 6 in Chicago.
RSNA: Brain Changes Observed on MRI in Obese Teens
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The brains of obese teens show damage, possibly related to inflammation, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Dec. 1 to 6 in Chicago.
RSNA: Biennial Mammo Returns More Advanced-Stage Cancers
TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Compared with annual screening, biennial mammographic screening is associated with a greater frequency of finding advanced-stage disease and interval cancers, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Dec. 1 to 6 in Chicago.
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