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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine uses radioactive substances in diagnosis and therapy. Nuclear breast imaging (also called scintimammography) is a supplemental breast exam that may be used in some patients to investigate a breast abnormality after diagnostic mammography has been performed. Nuclear breast imaging uses small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to do diagnostic scans of the breast.

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Radiologists’ yearly income decreased by 2 percent in 2013, to an average of $340,000, according to Medscape’s annual physician compensation survey.

Radiologists still enjoyed the fifth-highest income among specialists, behind orthopedists ($413,000), cardiologists ($351,000), urologists ($348,000), and gastroenterologists ($348,000). They ranked slightly lower—seventh—among specialists in feeling fairly compensated. Only 53 percent of radiologists said their compensation was fair, putting them behind … read more »

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Did the emergence of appropriate use criteria for imaging help bring about the downfall of—or at least a sharp decline in—nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI)?

A research letter in JAMA last week reported that, “After increasing from 2000 to 2006, MPI abruptly declined through 2011.” Why? The letter didn’t really come up with an answer.

The researchers studied the rise and fall of MPI … read more »

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The annual number of medical device recalls almost doubled from 2003 to 2012, and radiology devices made up a big part of the increase.

That information comes from a report published last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). The increase in recalls of radiology devices had to do with greater awareness of radiation … read more »

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A three-year follow-up study has found that PET brain imaging using Amyvid (florbetapir) can detect early evidence of Alzheimer’s disease and may predict cognitive decline, even among adults who display mild or no cognitive impairment.

Amyvid binds to the beta-amyloid plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s. Lead author P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, summarized the study’s findings this way:
Our research found that … read more »

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A new contrast agent makes MRI a viable—and radiation-free—alternative to PET-CT for whole-body scanning of children, according to an article published online today in The Lancet Oncology.

Senior author Heike Daldrup-Link, MD, an associate professor of radiology at Stanford University, hailed the technique as a breakthrough:
I’m excited about having an imaging test for cancer patients that requires zero radiation exposure. That is … read more »

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E-mails from “Jane Doe” offered first-year radiologic technologist students in Hawaii “a little help.”

The help consisted of a photo of a multiple-choice test very similar to one they were about to take. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the messages included some “rules”: Don’t tell anyone. “Slightly diminish” your score to avoid suspicion. Opt out if you don’t want any more “help.”

A student … read more »

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Last week, a radiologist and a cardiologist told readers of the New York Times that because of medical imaging, “We are silently irradiating ourselves to death.”

Authors of the bluntly worded op-ed piece, published Thursday and headlined “We Are Giving Ourselves Cancer,” were cardiologist Rita F. Redberg, MD, and radiologist Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, both of UCSF Medical Center (University of California, San Francisco). … read more »

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A federal judge has blocked a big health-care merger in Idaho on the grounds that it would likely increase prices for imaging, among other services—even though he said it also would likely improve patient outcomes.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in January blocked the merger of Boise-based St. Luke’s Health System, the state’s only nonprofit health system, and Nampa-based Saltzer Medical … read more »

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Health information exchanges will cut back—way back—on duplicative imaging for patients who make repeat visits to emergency rooms, suggests a study published online last month in Medical Care.

University of Michigan researchers looked at the rates of repeat scans for patients who went to two different, unaffiliated emergency departments within 30 days. When both visits were at hospitals that shared information via … read more »

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A simple idea by MIT researchers could be a breakthrough in creating nearly transparent displays—which could have significant medical imaging applications.

For example, surgeons could use such displays in the operating room to view scans of a patient—even real-time images. The displays could also be used for information-projecting glasses or goggles like Google Glass. One of the key features is this: … read more »

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