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BACKGROUND - The high value of the specific absorption rate (SAR) of radio-frequency (RF) energy arising from the series of RF refocusing pulses in T2-weighted (T2-w) turbo spin echo (TSE) MRI hampers its clinical application at 7.0 Tesla (7T). T2-w gradient and spin echo (GRASE) uses the speed from gradient refocusing in combination with the chemical-shift/static magnetic field (B0) inhomogeneity insensitivity from spin-echo refocusing to acquire T2-w images with a limited number of refocusing RF pulses, thus reducing SAR.
OBJECTIVES - To investigate whether low SAR T2-w GRASE could replace T2-w TSE in detecting white matter (WM) disease in MS patients imaged at 7T.
METHODS - The .7 mm3 isotropic T2-w TSE and T2-w GRASE images with variable echo times (TEs) and echo planar imaging (EPI) factors were obtained on a 7T scanner from postmortem samples of MS brains. These samples were derived from brains of 3 female MS patients. WM lesions (WM-Ls) and normal-appearing WM (NAWM) signal intensity, WM-Ls/NAWM contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and MRI/myelin staining sections comparisons were obtained.
RESULTS - GRASE sequences with EPI factor/TE = 3/50 and 3/75 ms were comparable to the SE technique for measures of CNR in WM-Ls and NAWM and for detection of WM-Ls. In all sequences, however, identification of areas with remyelination, Wallerian degeneration, and gray matter demyelination, as depicted by myelin staining, was not possible.
CONCLUSIONS - T2-w GRASE images may replace T2-w TSE for clinical use. However, even at 7T, both sequences fail in detecting and characterizing MS disease beyond visible WM-Ls.
Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Neuroimaging.
Availability, reliability, and technical improvements have led to continued expansion of computed tomography (CT) imaging. During a CT scan, there is substantially more exposure to ionizing radiation than with conventional radiography. This has led to questions and critical conclusions about whether the continuous growth of CT scans should be subjected to review and potentially restraints or, at a minimum, closer investigation. This is particularly pertinent to populations in emergency departments, such as children and patients who receive repeated CT scans for benign diagnoses. During the last several decades, among national medical specialty organizations, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American College of Radiology have each formed membership working groups to consider value, access, and expedience and to promote broad acceptance of CT protocols and procedures within their disciplines. Those efforts have had positive effects on the use criteria for CT by other physician groups, health insurance carriers, regulators, and legislators.
Copyright © 2014 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The information for the present discussion on the uncertainties associated with estimation of radiation risks and probability of disease causation was assembled for the recently published NCRP Report No. 171 on this topic. This memorandum provides a timely overview of the topic, given that quantitative uncertainty analysis is the state of the art in health risk assessment and given its potential importance to developments in radiation protection. Over the past decade the increasing volume of epidemiology data and the supporting radiobiology findings have aided in the reduction of uncertainty in the risk estimates derived. However, it is equally apparent that there remain significant uncertainties related to dose assessment, low dose and low dose-rate extrapolation approaches (e.g. the selection of an appropriate dose and dose-rate effectiveness factor), the biological effectiveness where considerations of the health effects of high-LET and lower-energy low-LET radiations are required and the transfer of risks from a population for which health effects data are available to one for which such data are not available. The impact of radiation on human health has focused in recent years on cancer, although there has been a decided increase in the data for noncancer effects together with more reliable estimates of the risk following radiation exposure, even at relatively low doses (notably for cataracts and cardiovascular disease). New approaches for the estimation of hereditary risk have been developed with the use of human data whenever feasible, although the current estimates of heritable radiation effects still are based on mouse data because of an absence of effects in human studies. Uncertainties associated with estimation of these different types of health effects are discussed in a qualitative and semi-quantitative manner as appropriate. The way forward would seem to require additional epidemiological studies, especially studies of low dose and low dose-rate occupational and perhaps environmental exposures and for exposures to x rays and high-LET radiations used in medicine. The development of models for more reliably combining the epidemiology data with experimental laboratory animal and cellular data can enhance the overall risk assessment approach by providing biologically refined data to strengthen the estimation of effects at low doses as opposed to the sole use of mathematical models of epidemiological data that are primarily driven by medium/high doses. NASA's approach to radiation protection for astronauts, although a unique occupational group, indicates the possible applicability of estimates of risk and their uncertainty in a broader context for developing recommendations on: (1) dose limits for occupational exposure and exposure of members of the public; (2) criteria to limit exposures of workers and members of the public to radon and its short-lived decay products; and (3) the dosimetric quantity (effective dose) used in radiation protection.
Following the Fukushima accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) convened a task group to compile lessons learned from the nuclear reactor accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, with respect to the ICRP system of radiological protection. In this memorandum the members of the task group express their personal views on issues arising during and after the accident, without explicit endorsement of or approval by the ICRP. While the affected people were largely protected against radiation exposure and no one incurred a lethal dose of radiation (or a dose sufficiently large to cause radiation sickness), many radiological protection questions were raised. The following issues were identified: inferring radiation risks (and the misunderstanding of nominal risk coefficients); attributing radiation effects from low dose exposures; quantifying radiation exposure; assessing the importance of internal exposures; managing emergency crises; protecting rescuers and volunteers; responding with medical aid; justifying necessary but disruptive protective actions; transiting from an emergency to an existing situation; rehabilitating evacuated areas; restricting individual doses of members of the public; caring for infants and children; categorising public exposures due to an accident; considering pregnant women and their foetuses and embryos; monitoring public protection; dealing with 'contamination' of territories, rubble and residues and consumer products; recognising the importance of psychological consequences; and fostering the sharing of information. Relevant ICRP Recommendations were scrutinised, lessons were collected and suggestions were compiled. It was concluded that the radiological protection community has an ethical duty to learn from the lessons of Fukushima and resolve any identified challenges. Before another large accident occurs, it should be ensured that inter alia: radiation risk coefficients of potential health effects are properly interpreted; the limitations of epidemiological studies for attributing radiation effects following low exposures are understood; any confusion on protection quantities and units is resolved; the potential hazard from the intake of radionuclides into the body is elucidated; rescuers and volunteers are protected with an ad hoc system; clear recommendations on crisis management and medical care and on recovery and rehabilitation are available; recommendations on public protection levels (including infant, children and pregnant women and their expected offspring) and associated issues are consistent and understandable; updated recommendations on public monitoring policy are available; acceptable (or tolerable) 'contamination' levels are clearly stated and defined; strategies for mitigating the serious psychological consequences arising from radiological accidents are sought; and, last but not least, failures in fostering information sharing on radiological protection policy after an accident need to be addressed with recommendations to minimise such lapses in communication.
Technological advances and increased utilization of medical testing and procedures have prompted greater attention to ensuring the patient safety of radiation use in the practice of adult cardiovascular medicine. In response, representatives from cardiovascular imaging societies, private payers, government and nongovernmental agencies, industry, medical physicists, and patient representatives met to develop goals and strategies toward this end; this report provides an overview of the discussions. This expert “think tank” reached consensus on several broad directions including: the need for broad collaboration across a large number of diverse stakeholders; clarification of the relationship between medical radiation and stochastic events; required education of ordering and providing physicians, and creation of a culture of safety; development of infrastructure to support robust dose assessment and longitudinal tracking; continued close attention to patient selection by balancing the benefit of cardiovascular testing and procedures against carefully minimized radiation exposures; collation, dissemination, and implementation of best practices; and robust education, not only across the healthcare community, but also to patients, the public, and media. Finally, because patient radiation safety in cardiovascular imaging is complex, any proposed actions need to be carefully vetted (and monitored) for possible unintended consequences.
Technological advances and increased utilization of medical testing and procedures have prompted greater attention to ensuring the patient safety of radiation use in the practice of adult cardiovascular medicine. In response, representatives from cardiovascular imaging societies, private payers, government and nongovernmental agencies, industry, medical physicists, and patient representatives met to develop goals and strategies toward this end; this report provides an overview of the discussions. This expert "think tank" reached consensus on several broad directions including: the need for broad collaboration across a large number of diverse stakeholders; clarification of the relationship between medical radiation and stochastic events; required education of ordering and providing physicians, and creation of a culture of safety; development of infrastructure to support robust dose assessment and longitudinal tracking; continued close attention to patient selection by balancing the benefit of cardiovascular testing and procedures against carefully minimized radiation exposures; collation, dissemination, and implementation of best practices; and robust education, not only across the healthcare community, but also to patients, the public, and media. Finally, because patient radiation safety in cardiovascular imaging is complex, any proposed actions need to be carefully vetted (and monitored) for possible unintended consequences.
The authors have assembled a compilation of exposure rate constants, ƒ-factors, and lead shielding thicknesses for more than 1,100 radionuclides described in ICRP Publication 107. Physical data were taken from well established reference sources for mass-energy absorption coefficients in air, attenuation coefficients, and buildup factors in lead and other variables.The data agreed favorably for the most part with those of other investigators; thus this compilation provides an up-to-date and sizeable database of these data, which are of interest to many for routine calculations. Emissions were also segregated by emitting nuclide, and decay product emissions were emitted from the calculated coefficients, thus for the first time providing for the calculation of exposure rates from arbitrary mixtures of nuclides in arbitrary equilibrium states.
Imaging is valuable in determining the presence, extent, and severity of myocardial ischemia and the severity of obstructive coronary lesions in patients with chronic chest pain in the setting of high probability of coronary artery disease. Imaging is critical for defining patients best suited for medical therapy or intervention, and findings can be used to predict long-term prognosis and the likely benefit from various therapeutic options. Chest radiography, radionuclide single photon-emission CT, radionuclide ventriculography, and conventional coronary angiography are the imaging modalities historically used in evaluating suspected chronic myocardial ischemia. Stress echocardiography, PET, cardiac MRI, and multidetector cardiac CT have all been more recently shown to be valuable in the evaluation of ischemic heart disease. Other imaging techniques may be helpful in those patients who do not present with signs classic for angina pectoris or in those patients who do not respond as expected to standard management. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria(®) are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every 2 years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well-established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In those instances in which evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.
Copyright © 2011 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
With continuing developments in computed tomography (CT) technology and its increasing use of CT imaging, the ionizing radiation dose from CT is becoming a major public concern particularly for high-dose applications such as cardiac imaging. We recently proposed a novel interior tomography approach for x-ray dose reduction that is very different from all the previously proposed methods. Our method only uses the projection data for the rays passing through the desired region of interest. This method not only reduces x-ray dose but scatter as well. In this paper, we quantify the reduction in the amount of x-ray dose and scattered radiation that could be achieved using this method. Results indicate that interior tomography may reduce the x-ray dose by 18% to 58% and scatter to the detectors by 19% to 59% as the FOV is reduced from 50 to 8.6 cm.
High x-ray radiation dose is a major public concern with the increasing use of multidetector computed tomography (CT) for diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. This issue must be effectively addressed by dose-reduction techniques. Recently, our group proved that an internal region of interest (ROI) can be exactly reconstructed solely from localized projections if a small subregion within the ROI is known. In this article, we propose to use attenuation values of the blood in aorta and vertebral bone to serve as the known information for localized cardiac CT. First, we describe a novel interior tomography approach that backprojects differential fan-beam or parallel-beam projections to obtain the Hilbert transform and then reconstructs the original image in an ROI using the iterative projection onto convex sets algorithm. Then, we develop a numerical phantom based on clinical cardiac CT images for simulations. Our results demonstrate that it is feasible to use practical prior information and exactly reconstruct cardiovascular structures only from projection data along x-ray paths through the ROI.