Radiology - Research Publications

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    Avid F-FDG uptake of pectoralis major muscle: an equivocal sequela of strenuous physical exercise.
    Fathinul, F ; Lau, W (Department of Biomedical Imaging, University of Malaya, Malaysia, 2009-04)
    Avid functional (18)F-FDG uptake of skeletal muscle is a known false positive finding of PET-CT study especially after involuntary muscle exercise just prior to the study. We describe the case of a 50-year-old man in whom the finding of avid (18)F-FDG uptake of pectoralis major muscle was encountered during investigation of metastatic melanoma.
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    Axillary lymphoma masquerading as inflammatory breast cancer.
    Taubman, K ; McKay, M (Department of Biomedical Imaging, University of Malaya, Malaysia, 2006-07)
    Primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) of the breast, and its extranodal spread to the breast resulting from systemic lymphoma, are recognised albeit uncommon conditions. However, lymphoma involving the axilla, presenting with the clinical appearance of inflammatory breast carcinoma (IBC) without infiltration of breast dermal lymphatics has not been reported previously.As highlighted by the two cases presented here, this entity should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with clinical IBC. The cases highlight the importance of careful histological analysis to distinguish IBC from NHL, since management strategies and prognosis are quite different.
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    Economic evaluation of a clinical protocol for diagnosing emergency patients with suspected pulmonary embolism.
    Gospodarevskaya, EV ; Goergen, SK ; Harris, AH ; Chan, T ; de Campo, JF ; Wolfe, R ; Gan, ET ; Wheeler, MB ; McKay, J (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2006-06-27)
    BACKGROUND: The objective of this paper is to estimate the amount of cost-savings to the Australian health care system from implementing an evidence-based clinical protocol for diagnosing emergency patients with suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) at the Emergency department of a Victorian public hospital with 50,000 presentations in 2001-2002. METHODS: A cost-minimisation study used the data collected in a controlled clinical trial of a clinical protocol for diagnosing patients with suspected PE. The number and type of diagnostic tests in a historic cohort of 185 randomly selected patients, who presented to the emergency department with suspected PE during an eight month period prior to the clinical trial (January 2002-August 2002) were compared with the number and type of diagnostic tests in 745 patients, who presented to the emergency department with suspected PE from November 2002 to August 2003. Current Medicare fees per test were used as unit costs to calculate the mean aggregated cost of diagnostic investigation per patient in both study groups. A t-test was used to estimate the statistical significance of the difference in the cost of resources used for diagnosing PE in the control and in the intervention group. RESULTS: The trial demonstrated that diagnosing PE using an evidence-based clinical protocol was as effective as the existing clinical practice. The clinical protocol offers the advantage of reducing the use of diagnostic imaging, resulting in an average cost savings of at least $59.30 per patient. CONCLUSION: Extrapolating the observed cost-savings of $59.30 per patient to the whole of Australia could potentially result in annual savings between $3.1 million to $3.7 million.
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    Hybrid imaging is the future of molecular imaging.
    Hicks, R ; Lau, E ; Binns, D (Department of Biomedical Imaging, University of Malaya, Malaysia, 2007-07)
    Correlative imaging has long been used in clinical practice and particularly for the interpretation of nuclear medicine studies wherein detailed anatomical information is often lacking. Previously, side-by-side comparison or software co-registration techniques were applied but suffered from technical limitations related to the differing geometries of the imaging equipment, differences in the positioning of patients and displacement of mobile structures between studies. The development of the first hybrid PET and CT device struck a chord with the medical imaging community that is still ringing loudly throughout the world. So successful has been the concept of PET-CT that none of the major medical imaging manufacturers now offers stand-alone PET scanners. Following close behind this success, SPECT-CT devices have recently been adopted by the nuclear medicine community, already compelled by the benefits of hybrid imaging through their experience with PET-CT. Recent reports of adaptation of PET detectors to operate within the strong magnetic field of MRI scanners have generated further enthusiasm. Prototype PET-MRI devices are now in development. The complementary anatomical, functional and molecular information provided by these techniques can now be presented in an intuitive and aesthetically-pleasing format. This has made end-users more comfortable with the results of functional imaging techniques than when the same information is presented independently. Despite the primacy of anatomical imaging for locoregional disease definition, the molecular characterisation available from PET and SPECT offers unique complementary information for cancer evaluation. A new era of cancer imaging, when hybrid imaging will be the primary diagnostic tool, is approaching.
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    Changes in parahippocampal white matter integrity in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: a diffusion tensor imaging study.
    Rogalski, EJ ; Murphy, CM ; deToledo-Morrell, L ; Shah, RC ; Moseley, ME ; Bammer, R ; Stebbins, GT (Hindawi Limited, 2009)
    In the present study, changes in the parahippocampal white matter (PWM), in the region that includes the perforant path, were investigated, in vivo, in 14 individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) compared to 14 elderly controls with no cognitive impairment (NCI). For this purpose, (1) volumetry; (2) diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) derived measures of mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA); and (3) tractography were used. In addition, regression models were utilized to examine the association of PWM measurements with memory decline. The results from this study confirm previous findings in our laboratory and others, showing that compared to controls, individuals with aMCI have PWM volume loss. In addition to volume reduction, participants with aMCI demonstrated a significant increase in MD, but no difference in FA, both in the PWM region and in fibers modeled to pass through the PWM region. Further, the DTI metric of MD was associated with declarative memory performance, suggesting it may be a sensitive marker for memory dysfunction. These results indicate that there is general tissue loss and degradation (decreased volume; increased MD) in individuals with aMCI compared to older people with normal cognitive function. However, the microstructural organization of remaining fibers, as determined by measures of anisotropic diffusion, is not significantly different from that of controls.
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    Prevention of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle intervention in an Australian primary health care setting: Greater green triangle (GGT) diabetes prevention project
    Laatikainen, T ; Dunbar, JA ; Chapman, A ; Kilkkinen, A ; Vartiainen, E ; Heistaro, S ; Philpot, B ; Absetz, P ; Bunker, S ; O'Neil, A ; Reddy, P ; Best, JD ; Janus, ED (BMC, 2007-09-19)
    BACKGROUND: Randomised controlled trials demonstrate a 60% reduction in type 2 diabetes incidence through lifestyle modification programmes. The aim of this study is to determine whether such programmes are feasible in primary health care. METHODS: An intervention study including 237 individuals 40-75 years of age with moderate or high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A structured group programme with six 90 minute sessions delivered during an eight month period by trained nurses in Australian primary health care in 2004-2006. Main outcome measures taken at baseline, three, and 12 months included weight, height, waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose and lipids, plasma glucose two hours after oral glucose challenge, blood pressure, measures of psychological distress and general health outcomes. To test differences between baseline and follow-up, paired t-tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were performed. RESULTS: At twelve months participants' mean weight reduced by 2.52 kg (95% confidence interval 1.85 to 3.19) and waist circumference by 4.17 cm (3.48 to 4.87). Mean fasting glucose reduced by 0.14 mmol/l (0.07 to 0.20), plasma glucose two hours after oral glucose challenge by 0.58 mmol/l (0.36 to 0.79), total cholesterol by 0.29 mmol/l (0.18 to 0.40), low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 0.25 mmol/l (0.16 to 0.34), triglycerides by 0.15 mmol/l (0.05 to 0.24) and diastolic blood pressure by 2.14 mmHg (0.94 to 3.33). Significant improvements were also found in most psychological measures. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that a type 2 diabetes prevention programme using lifestyle intervention is feasible in primary health care settings, with reductions in risk factors approaching those observed in clinical trials.
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    Patient Engagement and Coaching for Health: The PEACH study a cluster randomised controlled trial using the telephone to coach people with type 2 diabetes to engage with their GPs to improve diabetes care: a study protocol
    Young, D ; Furler, J ; Vale, M ; Walker, C ; Segal, L ; Dunning, P ; Best, J ; Blackberry, I ; Audehm, R ; Sulaiman, N ; Dunbar, J ; Chondros, P (BMC, 2007-04-11)
    BACKGROUND: The PEACH study is based on an innovative 'telephone coaching' program that has been used effectively in a post cardiac event trial. This intervention will be tested in a General Practice setting in a pragmatic trial using existing Practice Nurses (PN) as coaches for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Actual clinical care often fails to achieve standards, that are based on evidence that self-management interventions (educational and psychological) and intensive pharmacotherapy improve diabetes control. Telephone coaching in our study focuses on both. This paper describes our study protocol, which aims to test whether goal focused telephone coaching in T2D can improve diabetes control and reduce the treatment gap between guideline based standards and actual clinical practice. METHODS/DESIGN: In a cluster randomised controlled trial, general practices employing Practice Nurses (PNs) are randomly allocated to an intervention or control group. We aim to recruit 546 patients with poorly controlled T2D (HbA1c >7.5%) from 42 General Practices that employ PNs in Melbourne, Australia. PNs from General Practices allocated to the intervention group will be trained in diabetes telephone coaching focusing on biochemical targets addressing both patient self-management and engaging patients to work with their General Practitioners (GPs) to intensify pharmacological treatment according to the study clinical protocol. Patients of intervention group practices will receive 8 telephone coaching sessions and one face-to-face coaching session from existing PNs over 18 months plus usual care and outcomes will be compared to the control group, who will only receive only usual care from their GPs. The primary outcome is HbA1c levels and secondary outcomes include cardiovascular disease risk factors, behavioral risk factors and process of care measures. DISCUSSION: Understanding how to achieve comprehensive treatment of T2D in a General Practice setting is the focus of the PEACH study. This study explores the potential role for PNs to help reduce the treatment and outcomes gap in people with T2D by using telephone coaching. The intervention, if found to be effective, has potential to be sustained and embedded within real world General Practice.
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    Pulmonary artery catheter versus pulse contour analysis: a prospective epidemiological study
    Uchino, S ; Bellomo, R ; Morimatsu, H ; Sugihara, M ; French, C ; Stephens, D ; Wendon, J ; Honore, P ; Mulder, J ; Turner, A (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2006-01-01)
    INTRODUCTION: The choice of invasive systemic haemodynamic monitoring in critically ill patients remains controversial as no multicentre comparative clinical data exist. Accordingly, we sought to study and compare the features and outcomes of patients who receive haemodynamic monitoring with either the pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) or pulse contour cardiac output (PiCCO) technology. METHODS: We conducted a prospective multicentre, multinational epidemiological study in a cohort of 331 critically ill patients who received haemodynamic monitoring by PAC or PiCCO according to physician preference in intensive care units (ICUs) of eight hospitals in four countries. We collected data on haemodynamics, demographic features, daily fluid balance, mechanical ventilation days, ICU days, hospital days, and hospital mortality. We statistically compared the two techniques. RESULTS: Three hundred and forty-two catheters (PiCCO 192 and PAC 150) were inserted in 331 patients. On direct comparison, patients with PAC were older (68 versus 64 years of age; p = 0.0037), were given inotropic drugs more frequently (37.3% versus 13%; p < 0.0001), and had a lower cardiac index (2.6 versus 3.2 litres/minute per square meter; p < 0.0001). Mean daily fluid balance was significantly greater during PiCCO monitoring (+659 versus +350 ml/day; p = 0.017) and mechanical ventilation-free days were fewer (12 for PiCCO versus 21 for PAC; p = 0.045). However, after multiple regression analysis, we found no significant effect of monitoring technique on mean daily fluid balance, mechanical ventilation-free days, ICU-free days, or hospital mortality. A secondary multiple logistic regression analysis for hospital mortality which included mean daily fluid balance showed that positive fluid balance was a significant predictor of hospital mortality (odds ratio = 1.0002 for each ml/day; p = 0.0073). CONCLUSION: On direct comparison, the use of PiCCO was associated with a greater positive fluid balance and fewer ventilator-free days. After correction for confounding factors, the choice of monitoring did not influence major outcomes, whereas a positive fluid balance was a significant independent predictor of outcome. Future studies may best be targeted at understanding the effect of pursuing different fluid balance regimens rather than monitoring techniques per se.
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    Variants of ST8SIA1 Are Associated with Risk of Developing Multiple Sclerosis
    Husain, S ; Yildirim-Toruner, C ; Rubio, JP ; Field, J ; Schwalb, M ; Cook, S ; Devoto, M ; Vitale, E ; Reitsma, PH (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-07-09)
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system of unknown etiology with both genetic and environmental factors playing a role in susceptibility. To date, the HLA DR15/DQ6 haplotype within the major histocompatibility complex on chromosome 6p, is the strongest genetic risk factor associated with MS susceptibility. Additional alleles of IL7 and IL2 have been identified as risk factors for MS with small effect. Here we present two independent studies supporting an allelic association of MS with polymorphisms in the ST8SIA1 gene, located on chromosome 12p12 and encoding ST8 alpha-N-acetyl-neuraminide alpha-2,8-sialyltransferase 1. The initial association was made in a single three-generation family where a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4762896, was segregating together with HLA DR15/DQ6 in MS patients. A study of 274 family trios (affected child and both unaffected parents) from Australia validated the association of ST8SIA1 in individuals with MS, showing transmission disequilibrium of the paternal alleles for three additional SNPs, namely rs704219, rs2041906, and rs1558793, with p = 0.001, p = 0.01 and p = 0.01 respectively. These findings implicate ST8SIA1 as a possible novel susceptibility gene for MS.