Health Insurance Ownership and Quality of Computed Tomography Requests: Experience from a Peripheral Referral Hospital in CameroonRead the full article
Radiology Research and Practice publishes articles on all areas of medical imaging. The journal promotes evidence-based radiology practice though the publication of original research, reviews, and clinical studies for a multidisciplinary audience.
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Radiologic Mimics of Osteomyelitis and Septic Arthritis: A Pictorial Essay
Various imaging techniques may be employed in the investigation of suspected bone and joint infections. These include ultrasound, radiography, functional imaging such as positron emission tomography (PET) and nuclear scintigraphy, and cross-sectional imaging, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The cross-sectional modalities represent the imaging workhorse in routine practice. The role of imaging also extends to include assessment of the anatomical extent of infection, potentially associated complications, and treatment response. The imaging appearances of bone and joint infections are heterogeneous and depend on the duration of infection, an individual patient’s immune status, and virulence of culprit organisms. To add to the complexity of radiodiagnosis, one of the pitfalls of imaging musculoskeletal infection is the presence of other conditions that can share overlapping imaging features. This includes osteoarthritis, vasculopathy, inflammatory, and even neoplastic processes. Different pathologies may also coexist, for example, diabetic neuropathy and osteomyelitis. This pictorial review aims to highlight potential mimics of osteomyelitis and septic arthritis that are regularly encountered, with emphasis on specific imaging features that may aid the radiologist and clinician in distinguishing an infective from a noninfective aetiology.
4DCT Scanning Technique for Primary Hyperparathyroidism: A Scoping Review
Objective. 4DCT for the detection of (an) enlarged parathyroid(s) is a commonly performed examination in the management of primary hyperparathyroidism. Protocols are often institution-specific; this review aims to summarize the different protocols and explore the reported sensitivity and specificity of different 4DCT protocols as well as the associated dose. Materials and Methods. A literature study was independently conducted by two radiologists from April 2020 until May 2020 using the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE) database. Articles were screened and assessed for eligibility. From eligible studies, data were extracted to summarize different parameters of the scanning protocol and observed diagnostic attributes. Results. A total of 51 articles were included and 56 scanning protocols were identified. Most protocols use three (n = 25) or four different phases (n = 23). Almost all authors include noncontrast enhanced imaging and an arterial phase. Arterial images are usually obtained 25–30 s after administration of contrast, and less agreement exists concerning the timing of the venous phase(s). A mean contrast bolus of 100 mL is administered at 3-4 mL/s. Bolus tracking is not often used (n = 3). A wide range of effective doses are reported, up to 28 mSv. A mean sensitivity of 81.5% and a mean specificity of 86% are reported. Conclusion. Many different 4DCT scanning protocols for the detection of parathyroid adenomas exist in the literature. The number of phases does not appear to affect sensitivity or specificity. A triphasic approach, however, seems preferable, as three patterns of enhancement of parathyroid adenomas are described. Bolus tracking could help to reduce the variability of enhancement. Sensitivity and specificity also do not appear to be affected by other scan parameters like tube voltage or tube current. To keep the effective dose within limits, scanning at a lower fixed tube current seems preferable. Lowering tube voltage from 120 kV to 100 kV may yield similar image contrast but would also help lower the dose.
Audit of Radiology Request Form for Completion and Usefulness of Clinical History: Teaching Hospital Experience, Ghana
Background. The role of the “traditional” radiologist has shifted from imaging centered to patient focus, which underscores the utmost importance of the clinical radiologist in the multidisciplinary team in patient management. For the clinical radiologist to effectively play this key role, the referring clinician must provide adequate and useful patient information to assist the radiologist in making a diagnosis or provide differential diagnosis. The objectives were to assess the level of completion of the radiology request form and to determine whether the clinical history provided aided in the final impression/diagnosis. Materials and Method. We conducted a prospective review of 500 radiology request forms at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) between September and October 2018. The forms were consecutively sampled and reviewed for each field/area such as patient’s name, age, and clinical history. Data were analyzed descriptively for the level of completeness and usefulness of clinical history entered by the clinician. Results. No request form was completed in full. All the request forms did not have X-ray serial number and previous examination details documented. The proportions of forms with various fields completed were as follows: more than 90% of the forms had patient’s name, investigation required, date of the request, doctor’s name, and clinical history fields filled. The patient’s age, patient’s ward/address, and doctor’s address were filled in 88%, 75%, and 18.4%, respectively. Twenty percent of the request forms were not useful to the radiologist in the final diagnosis. Conclusion. A significant proportion of radiology request forms are incompletely filled and therefore denies the radiologist, the critical information needed to make a diagnosis, or narrow differential diagnosis.
Safety of 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a well-characterized hemoglobinopathy affecting more than 20 million individuals worldwide and carries an increased risk of cerebral vasculopathy, cerebral infarct, and stroke. As mechanisms of cerebral infarction in SCD are partly attributable to microvascular vaso-occlusive crises, manifesting as altered cerebral blood flow and associated impaired oxygen delivery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods that can quickly provide a comprehensive perspective on structural and functional disease status, without exogenous contrast administration or ionizing radiation, have emerged as crucial clinical tools for surveillance. However, early ex vivo MRI work in suspended erythrocytes containing hemoglobin S at 0.35 Tesla (T) suggested that sickled erythrocytes can orient preferentially in the presence of an external magnetic field, and as such, it was suggested that MRI exams in sickle cell hemoglobinopathy could induce vaso-occlusion. While this observation has generally not impacted clinical imaging in individuals with SCD, it has led to resistance for some sickle cell studies within the engineering community among some imaging scientists as this early observation has never been rigorously shown to be unconcerning. Here, we performed MRI at the clinical field strength of 3 T in 172 patients with SCD, which included standard anatomical and angiographic assessments together with gold standard diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI; spatial resolution = 1.8 × 1.8 × 4 mm; b-value = 1000 s/mm2) for acute infarct assessment (performed approximately 20 min after patient introduction to the field isocenter). The presence of vasculopathy, as well as chronic and acute infarcts, was evaluated by two independent board-certified radiologists using standard clinical criteria. In these patients (52.3% female; mean age = 19.6 years; age range = 6–44 years), hematocrit (mean = 25.8%; range = 15–36%), hemoglobin phenotype (87.8% HbSS variant), presence of silent infarct (44.2%), and overt chronic infarct (13.4%) were consistent with a typical SCD population; however, no participants exhibited evidence of acute infarction. These findings are consistent with 3 T MRI not inducing acute infarction or vaso-occlusion in individuals with SCD and suggest that earlier low-field ex vivo work of erythrocytes in suspension is not a sufficient cause to discourage MRI scans in patients with SCD.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Radiotherapy Supply
Background. The impetuous entrance of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy in March 2020, after the onset and diffusion in China, found the health system widely unfit to face the large amount of infected patients. The matter of this investigation was to evaluate how pandemic fear and guidelines for limiting the diffusion of SARS-CoV-2 virus could have impacted the regular supply of radiotherapy (RT) and the outcome of the treatments. Materials and Methods. From March 9, 2020, to May 29, 2020, a register has been established to record patients that cancelled or postponed the RT appointment. The reasons were as follows: (1) patients whose appointments were postponed by the staff according to national guidelines; (2) patients who asked themselves to postpone the appointment; (3) patients who interrupted the treatment for causes directly or indirectly related to the pandemic; (4) patients who cancelled their care path. Results. A total number of 277 patients started regular RT, and 384 respected their computed tomography (CT) simulation appointment, but 60 of them had alteration of their therapeutic pathway. Among these, 18 cancelled their appointment. 42 patients asked to postpone their procedure. Twenty-seven out of 42 adduced directly or indirectly SARS-CoV-2 infection-related reasons. Conclusions. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the regular RT delivery to oncologic patients, owing to the delay or cancellation of procedures with the likely effect to observe worsening of local disease control and reduced survival rates in the future.
Ketamine Use in Hysterosalpingography (the Jimah Procedure): A Follow-Up of Bilateral Tubal Evaluation of 27 Infertile Women at a Teaching Hospital, Ghana
Background. Pain, anxiety, and distress are common in radiological investigations including hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Studies suggest that sedation allows patients to better tolerate diagnostic imaging and image-guided procedures by relieving anxiety, discomfort, and pain. This study aimed at assessing the safety and effectiveness of ketamine use in HSG and the proportion of true positive bilateral tubal blockage during HSG using the Jimah Procedure. Methods. We performed repeated HSG workup under IV ketamine (20–40 mg/mL) sedation for 27 infertile women at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. The exclusion criteria included unilateral tubular blockage, acute infection of the vagina or cervix, active vaginal bleeding, glaucoma, and high blood pressure at the time of the study. Data were entered with Microsoft Excel and analyzed using SPSS version 21. Results. A total of 27 patients (age range: 25–48 years) previously diagnosed of bilateral tubal blockage or spasm were enrolled for the repeat HSG procedure. The median age was 34 years (IQR: 32–37), while secondary infertility (20) (74.1%) was the commonest indication. None of the patients reported of pain or distress during or after the procedure. Two (7.4%) women vomited after HSG. Twelve patients (44.4%) had bilateral tubal blockage (true positive), while tubal patency was seen in 15 (55.6%) patients on HSG under ketamine sedation. Conclusion. This study found IV ketamine sedation produces profound anesthesia and analgesia and eliminates tubal spasm. We recommend that radiologists in developing countries should consider sedating patients during HSG and documenting observations and patients’ feedback to help assess safety and effectiveness in local settings.