Diffusion-weighted MR imaging is an accurate way to detect whether a patient has had a stroke–even 24 hours after the patient’s initial symptoms began, a new study shows. The study, the largest of its kind, found that diffusion-weighted MR imaging was about 90 percent accurate in diagnosing stroke, says Mark Mullins, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Mullins was the lead author of the study. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging was 91% accurate if the test was done 0-6 hours after the patient first began having symptoms; accuracy was 89% at 6-12 hours, then 90% at 12-24 hours, says Dr. Mullins.
A new MR imaging technique used to study white matter in the brain has found something intriguing–the brains of Alzheimer’s patients show some of the same signs as the immature brains of children. Diffusion tensor MR imaging examinations were performed on 60 normal persons, ranging in age from infancy to late adulthood, says Jeffrey Lassig, MD, of the University of Michigan, and lead author of the study. The part of the brain that connects the two halves of the brain was studied. When the brain is immature the water molecules in the white matter of the brain move (diffuse) more freely. As the brain ages, the water molecules seem more constrained, he says.
A new capsule that contains a microscopic camera and transmitter can create better pictures of the small bowel than standard x-ray procedures can, a new study shows. The capsule is easily swallowed by the patient, and there is no need for the patient to drink barium before the procedure.
Interventional radiology procedures are effective in treating uterine fibroids in patients who have symptoms of the disease without causing infertility or premature menopause, a new study shows.
Uterine fibroids are nourished by blood, says Hyun S. “Kevin” Kim, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore and the lead author of the study. “We found that if we block the uterine and ovarian arteries feeding the fibroid, the patients symptoms are relieved,” he says. The arteries are blocked (embolized) using special particles or spheres of varying size, notes Dr. Kim. “Larger particles were used to stop the flow of blood. When calibrated spheres were used, there was a significant reduction in the flow of blood,” he adds.
Results of a new study show that breast sonography is more accurate than mammography in symptomatic women 45 years old or younger, and may be an appropriate initial imaging test in investigating these women, says Nehmat Houssami, MD, PhD, and lead author of the study. The study, published in the April 2003 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, “is the first published study to examine the comparative sensitivity and specificity of mammography and sonography in relation to age in young women with breast symptoms, where the two tests were interpreted independently of each other and where almost all subjects had undergone both tests,” says Dr. Houssami.