The Radiological Society of North America's 96th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting took place Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago and attracted over 50,000 participants, including radiologists, radiation oncologists, physicists in medicine, radiologic technologists, and allied health care professionals from around the world. The conference highlighted recent advances in radiology, with 1,769 scientific papers presented in 16 subspecialties as well as 232 refresher courses, 1,915 education exhibits, and 679 scientific posters.
In one study, Alexander P. Lin, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found that magnetic resonance spectroscopy may help diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition caused by repetitive head trauma that currently can only be diagnosed upon autopsy. The investigators evaluated five retired professional athletes, including football, wrestling, and boxing professionals, with a history of concussions and cognitive symptoms associated with CTE, as well as age- and size-matched controls, aged 32 to 55 years.
"Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed after death. It is therefore imperative that we develop objective, noninvasive, diagnostic tests to stratify the risks of repetitive head injury. This study is an important first step in that direction by showing chemical changes in the repetitively-injured brain using the 'virtual biopsy' technology," Lin said.
U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appear to have an increased risk of developing a more aggressive form of atherosclerosis. The investigators evaluated 49 obese patients (mean age, 61 years) with OSA and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 33 kg/m², and 46 obese patients without the condition (mean age of 60 years and mean BMI of 30 kg/m²), using coronary computed tomography angiography (cCTA).
The data revealed that patients with OSA had a significantly higher prevalence of non-calcified and mixed plaques compared to patients without the condition.
"cCTA is an effective way to noninvasively diagnose non-calcified and mixed plaque," Schoepf said in a statement. "With technological advancements that are lowering the radiation dose required for cCTA, this exam could become a screening tool for obese individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease."
Schoepf disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
In another study, Thomas M. Link, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues found that light exercise, particularly frequent walking, may protect against cartilage degeneration in individuals with risk factors for osteoarthritis. The investigators evaluated more than 130 asymptomatic participants at risk for knee osteoarthritis who were enrolled in the National Institutes of Health Osteoarthritis Initiative, as well as 33 age- and BMI-matched controls, aged 45 to 55 years. The participants were separated into three exercise levels and strength-training groups. Exercise levels included sedentary, light exercisers, and moderate to strenuous exercisers, and strength-training groups included none, minimal, and frequent.
"The key result was that light exercise was associated with healthier cartilage in middle-aged people at risk for osteoarthritis," Link said. "In addition to light exercise, we found that frequent knee bending activities -- including more than 30 minutes of deep knee squats, more than 30 minutes of kneeling, or climbing more than 10 flights of stairs every day -- were associated with more degenerative cartilage using T2 magnetic resonance imaging. We not only found this in people at risk for osteoarthritis but in healthy people as well."
Link disclosed a financial relationship with Merck and Co.
RSNA: Annual Mammogram May Reduce Mastectomy Risk
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women between the ages of 40 and 50 who undergo a yearly mammogram appear to have a lower risk of mastectomy following breast cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago.
RSNA: Visceral Body Fat Tied to Poor Bone Health
TUESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Increased visceral body fat appears to be negatively associated with bone health, potentially serving as a risk factor for osteoporosis among premenopausal women, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago.
RSNA: Walking May Reduce Cognitive Decline
MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Walking appears to slow cognitive decline in healthy individuals as well as those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago.
RSNA: Computed Tomography Use in Emergency Room Up
MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The use of computed tomography (CT) in the emergency department has increased at a higher rate than CT use in other clinical settings, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in Radiology to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago.
RSNA: MRI Benefits Women With Breast Cancer History
MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a personal history of breast cancer may benefit from annual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening in addition to mammography, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago.
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