Category Archives: Radiology

I think you have Cancer: Look what your Dog knows

2The great ability of animals to sense danger such as the natural disaster like earthquakes, tsunamis etc., are already well known. But most interestingly it was found that the dogs can sense and detect the cancer and other diseases. In the recent years, this observation has become the area of interest and attracted widespread coverage. Many researches have been done to reason this outstanding ability of the dogs.

The dazzling smelling ability of Dogs is no secret. They can smell even the slightest odour such as a drop of blood in a swimming pool. This remarkable sense of smell is already in use for dogs to sniff narcotics and explosives in the military. But the studies have suggested that this olfactory ability of dogs is also useful to sniff out cancer and other diseases in humans and has been named as Canine cancer detection.

As humans can smell cancer in the later stages of cancer, it makes sense that dogs are able to detect cancer way before at zero stage and are well qualified for this accomplishment. Dogs have 300 million smell receptors compared to humans with only 6 million of them. This boosts their smelling ability to 100,000 times. Also, the greater part of dog’s brain is devoted to smell or the olfactory cortex, which is dominated by visual cortex in human, making the dogs to analyse smells 40 times better than us.

But the question arises that what is there in cancer that dog smells?

This is supported by the fact that cancerous cells release very low concentrations of the alkanes and aromatic compounds that is different from the metabolic products generated by healthy cells. This significant change can be smelled by the dogs in urine, sweat, feces and breath. This has been confirmed in case of skin cancers where dogs detect the cancer by just simply sniffing the skin lesions.

This potential advantage of dog has significant benefits for human in medical field. Using a dog to detect cancer even at the earliest stage or at the stage enough to be treatable, can greatly help to cure patient.  Canine care detection is a low-risk and non-invasive method and offers various other advantages. Some researchers believe the trained dogs will become integrated directly into patient care, while other researchers recommend using this skill for developing machines that can reliably detect odor signatures from cancer, such as electronic noses.

In almost all the cases where the owners get themselves diagnosed as per the alert from their dogs, it is detected early enough to be treatable with a positive outcome.

So, if your dogs started acting weirdly around you or your family, listen to them and visit a Doctor!!!

Cancer Biomarkers and Targets

Biomarkers or molecular markers are the biological molecule present in the blood, cell lines, and tissues and in other body fluids as an indicator for the normal as well as the abnormal processes of the body and also works as a measurable indicator of any underlying biological condition or disease. Various types of biomolecules such as DNA (genes), RNA, proteins or hormones, can serve as biomarkers, as they all take part in various metabolic processes of the body.

Biomarkers play an essential role in the field of Oncology. It is said that the understanding of Cancer biomarkers is key to developing a right treatment plan for an individual. But notably, Biomarkers are not limited to Cancer. There are several biomarkers for heart diseases, infections, multiple sclerosis, and many other diseases.

Cancer biomarker refers to any molecule or metabolic changes inside the body that is characteristic of the presence of Cancer in the body. It may be produced by the tumors itself or by other cells and tissues, in response to the presence of Cancer in the body.

Cancer biomarkers may include proteins and other biomolecules, gene mutations, missing genes, and various gene rearrangements. Each of them works and reacts differently within the body.

In clinical research, and medicine, Cancer biomarkers are primarily used in three ways:

  • For the diagnosis of the condition as in case of early stage Cancers,
  • To predict how aggressively Cancer will grow and are therefore useful for assessing prognosis, and
  • For the prediction of a patient’s response to the treatment.

Function of Cancer Biomarkers

  • Risk assessment: Offers a quantitative way to determine predisposal of an individual for the particular type of Cancer. For example- overexpression of the HER2 protein, hypermethylation of MYOD1, CDH1, and CDH13 for cervical Cancer, etc.,
  • Diagnosis: determining the origin of Cancer whether they are primary or metastatic by screening the chromosomal alterations found on the cells.
  • Prognosis and prediction of the treatment: when an individual has been diagnosed with Cancer, certain biomarkers determine the aggressiveness of an identified Cancer. Such biomarkers include HER2/neu gene amplification for breast Cancers, elevated estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) expression, etc.
  • Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics: As each individual have a different genetic makeup, they respond to treatments, and drug differently. In some cases, a certain drug can result into a dangerous condition, such as in case of Individuals with mutations in the TPMT gene to metabolize large amount of a leukemia drug, potentially causes a fatal drop in white blood count for such patients. Hence, Cancer biomarkers are used to determine the most effective treatment regime.
  • Monitoring treatment response: Such biomarkers shows how a treatment is working overtime and how well an individual is responding to the treatment.

Neuroradiology or Neuroimaging

Neuroradiology is a subspecialty of the radiology concerning the diagnosis and characterization of the abnormalities associated with the central and peripheral nervous system, head, neck, and spine using the medical imaging techniques.

Neuroradiology uses the techniques of neuroimaging for the direct or indirect image of the structure and function of the nervous system with the minimal invasion and Physicians who specialize in the execution and elucidation of neuroimaging in the clinical setting are known as neuroradiologists.  Earlier, the diagnosis and identification of effective therapies for the diseases related to nervous system brain and spine were limited due to the lack of the reliable criteria for the determination of its response and progress but the assessment of the imaging techniques in the field of neurology has made it possible.

The various imaging techniques incorporated in neuroradiology includes:

  • Computed axial tomography: It is generally used for the structural imaging of the brain for the detection diagnosis of gross (large scale) intracranial disease (such as a tumor) and injury. CT scan or CAT scan uses a series of x-ray scans which is measured by the computer program for the numerical integral calculation of the absorbed X-ray beams.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce high quality two- or three-dimensional images without the use of X-rays or radioactive tracers or radiopharmaceuticals. It is used for the diagnosis of brain and spinal cord tumors, eye disease, inflammation, infection, and vascular irregularities that may lead to stroke. MRI can also detect and screen degenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging: It is a functional imaging technique relies on paramagnetic properties of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin to see images of changing blood flow in the brain associated with neural activity.
  • Positron emission tomography: It is a useful imaging technique for the diagnosis, the planning of treatment and the prediction outcome in various neurological diseases by providing non-invasive quantification of brain metabolism, receptor binding of various neurotransmitter systems, and changes in regional blood flow.

Some other techniques involved in neuroradiology imaging or neuroimaging are Magnetoencephalography, Diffuse optical imaging, cranial ultrasound, and some other techniques.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging has the minimally-to-moderate risk as compared to other imaging methods and due to its BOLD-contrast phenomena but this technique cannot be used for the individuals with medical implants or devices and metallic items in the body as magnetic resonance (MR) emitted from them can cause failure of the screening.
  • The greatest concern associated with Computed axial tomography scan is exposure of the patients to levels of radiation 100-500 times higher than traditional x-rays to produce better resolution imaging.
  • As the PET scan relies on the foreign substance (radiopharmaceuticals) injected into the bloodstream traveling through the body, the amount of radiation exposure to the patients are relatively small but there is the slightest chance that the radioisotopes used can lead to allergic reactions in some individuals.

Neuroradiology or Neuroimaging

Neuroradiology is a subspecialty of the radiology concerning the diagnosis and characterization of the abnormalities associated with the central and peripheral nervous system, head, neck, and spine using the medical imaging techniques.

Neuroradiology uses the techniques of neuroimaging for the direct or indirect image of the structure and function of the nervous system with the minimal invasion and Physicians who specialize in the execution and elucidation of neuroimaging in the clinical setting are known as neuroradiologists.  Earlier, the diagnosis and identification of effective therapies for the diseases related to nervous system brain and spine were limited due to the lack of the reliable criteria for the determination of its response and progress but the assessment of the imaging techniques in the field of neurology has made it possible.

The various imaging techniques incorporated in neuroradiology includes:

  • Computed axial tomography: It is generally used for the structural imaging of the brain for the detection diagnosis of gross (large scale) intracranial disease (such as a tumor) and injury. CT scan or CAT scan uses a series of x-ray scans which is measured by the computer program for the numerical integral calculation of the absorbed X-ray beams.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce high quality two- or three-dimensional images without the use of X-rays or radioactive tracers or radiopharmaceuticals. It is used for the diagnosis of brain and spinal cord tumors, eye disease, inflammation, infection, and vascular irregularities that may lead to stroke. MRI can also detect and screen degenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging: It is a functional imaging technique relies on paramagnetic properties of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin to see images of changing blood flow in the brain associated with neural activity.
  • Positron emission tomography: It is a useful imaging technique for the diagnosis, the planning of treatment and the prediction outcome in various neurological diseases by providing non-invasive quantification of brain metabolism, receptor binding of various neurotransmitter systems, and changes in regional blood flow.

Some other techniques involved in neuroradiology imaging or neuroimaging are Magnetoencephalography, Diffuse optical imaging, cranial ultrasound, and some other techniques.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging has the minimally-to-moderate risk as compared to other imaging methods and due to its BOLD-contrast phenomena but this technique cannot be used for the individuals with medical implants or devices and metallic items in the body as magnetic resonance (MR) emitted from them can cause failure of the screening.
  • The greatest concern associated with Computed axial tomography scan is exposure of the patients to levels of radiation 100-500 times higher than traditional x-rays to produce better resolution imaging.
  • As the PET scan relies on the foreign substance (radiopharmaceuticals) injected into the bloodstream traveling through the body, the amount of radiation exposure to the patients are relatively small but there is the slightest chance that the radioisotopes used can lead to allergic reactions in some individuals.

Complications of Spinal Anesthesia

The significant complications results from spinal-fusion surgery, it leads to blindness which is a catastrophic and devastating complication, and it is the one that has become rare in nowadays. Spinal anesthesia fusions are performed with an incidence of blindness placed between one-in-1,000 patients. Because most studies on the operation is very small, it is difficult to devise guidelines for patients and surgeons in decision-making.

In a spinal anesthesia surgery, surgeons remove the cartilage disc between two vertebrae and permanently join the spinal bones using bone grafts and screws. It is a final resort treatment for the torment and nerve harm from corrupted circles, which may have been caused by injury, more seasoned age, stationary way of life, or corpulence. Hereditary plays a major role. The disc does not have a blood supply, so once damaged can’t fix itself the manner in which different tissues in the body can. Spinal anesthysts specialists and anesthesiologists have turned out to be much more worried about the hazard for visual impairment.

They searched for system codes for spinal combination medical procedure and analysis codes for ischemic optic neuropathy happening amid or specifically after the medical procedure. Ischemic optic neuropathy causes visual impairment by harming the optic nerve.

Using data scientists noticed that altogether expanded hazard for ischemic optic neuropathy amid spinal combination medical procedure accompanied age more than 50; male sex; getting a blood transfusion amid the system; and heftiness. “The attributes of the patients experiencing spine combination haven’t changed such a lot throughout the years, in spite of the fact that the populace has matured. So the factors that must contribute the decrease in visual deficiency caused by spine combination medical procedure are in all likelihood the consequence of changes made in how the medical procedure is performed.

Changes in anesthesia practice may likewise be driving the abatement in danger of visual impairment. Numerous anesthesiologists currently set a stricter utmost for how low they will permit pulse to drop amid medical procedure, which may help decrease the hazard for ischemic optic neuropathy.

Radiation in Medicine

Radiation is the transmission or traveling of the energy through space or a material medium in the form of waves or particles. Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun is the most familiar form of radiation that we know. Except for the UV radiation, there are some higher-energy kinds of radiation, collectively known as Ionizing Radiation (such as α, β, or γ radiation) that are present on Earth and we all are exposed to it in minute doses through rock, soil, space, and air. But exposure to the higher levels of such radiation is harmful and dangerous and thus, the exposure should be controlled. The use of radiation in the medical field has made a huge evolution. Today, about one-third of the entire medical specialties involve radiation or radioactivity, right from the diagnosis – to the treatment.

Radiation is used in both nuclear medicine and radiology, but the difference is:

  • In general radiology, the X-rays enters the body from the outside source through space and creates a fixed or still image of the body, while in Nuclear medicine; a small amount of radioactive material (radiotracers, or radiopharmaceuticals) is administered internally, via injection, swallowing or inhalation inside the body into the bloodstream. This radioactive material travels through the area to be examined and produces γ-rays which are detected by the computers to create images.
  • The traditional imaging systems of radiology (X-rays, Ultrasound, CT scans, MRI) creates only a fixed or still image of the body showing the anatomy or structure of the body, while the nuclear imaging techniques (PET, SPECT) show the physiological function of the area to be investigated by producing two-dimensional or three-dimensional images.
  • In addition, through Nuclear medicine imaging techniques, a specific organ or tissue can be examined such as brain, lungs, and heart, unlike in general radiology imaging procedures where it produces the image of the whole area such as the chest cavity or abdominal cavity.

Advantages:

Both of these medical imaging specialties are used to diagnose and determine the severity of the disease and are involved in their effective treatment.

These imaging procedures are non-invasive or have the minimal invasion, less risk, a shorter recovery time and are less painful than the surgical treatments.

It also improves the cancer diagnosis with early detection and also involves its effective treatment (known as radiation oncology).

Disadvantages:

As with all the medical procedures, radiation techniques also involve a level of risk but the benefits are significantly greater than any risk involved.

  • Exposure to the radiation in such techniques carries with it a minute increase in the risk of developing cancer later in life, especially to the radiologists and physicians.
  • In nuclear medicine, there is a small level of risk associated with the radiotracers administered into the body such as allergic reactions which are very rare as the type of the radioactive materials used by the specialist, depends on the medical history of the patient.

Artificial Intelligence for Radiology

Artificial Intelligence in Radiology

Introduction: Artificial intelligence (AI) will bring changes to the professional life of radiologists, as well as changing many other aspects of our lives. Since the invention of electricity, the internet and, more recently, artificial intelligence, the technologies of general use have made it possible for societies to progress and improve their quality of life.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools have the potential to analyse large data sets and extract meaningful information to improve patient outcomes, a skill that is also useful in radiology and pathology.

The images obtained by the MRI machines, the computed tomography (CT) scanners and the radiographs, as well as the biopsy samples, allow the doctors to see the internal functioning of the human body.

Factor Effecting

  • Abundance of data
  • Development of artificial neural networks
  • Increased affordability of the hardware

The future of radiology augmented with Artificial Intelligence

Radiologists are not familiar with Artificial Intelligence, pioneering work in the perception of medical images in the 80s. We are experts in domains in medical imaging, medical physics and radiation safety. But in the last 6 to 12 years, there have been substantial innovations in obtaining images from deep learning methods of image classification. Today’s artificial neural networks have rates of accuracy that surpass those of human radiologists in narrow-based tasks, such as nodule detection The first step in formulating a strategy is to define our capabilities and identify the competitive forces that represent a threat. We are facing competition from other medical specialties who spend more time interacting with patients and who can choose to buy AI technologies. We also face competition from suppliers of equipment that make imaging devices, such as CT scanners.

General use cases, potential impact and implementation strategy

They can be divided into task-based categories:

Detection and prediction automation

Intelligence augmentation

Precision diagnostics and big data

Radiological decision support systems

Children’s (Pediatric) CT (Computed Tomography)

17Radiology and Oncology 2019 today announced an important milestone in computed tomography (CT) scanning for the centre in Abu Dhabi.

Pediatric computed tomography (CT) is a fast, painless diagnostic Process that uses special X-ray tools to produce complete photographs of your child’s blood vessels, bones, soft tissues and internal organs. It may be used to help diagnose abdominal pain or evaluate injury after trauma.

What is Children’s CT?

Most commonly known as a CT or CAT scan, is an indicative therapeutic test that, like conventional X-rays, generates multiple images or pictures of the core of the body.

The cross-sectional illustrations produced during a CT scan can be reformatted in various planes, and can even produce three-dimensional images. These photographs can be observed on a computer monitor, printed on film or transferred to a CD or DVD.

CT pictures of internal organs, delicate tissue and veins give more prominent part than regular X-rays, particularly of blood vessels acnes.

CT scan might be directed on babies, new-born children and young people.

Some common uses of the system

  • CT is utilized to help analyse a wide assortment of circumstances because of torment or weakness.
  • CT may also be performed to evaluate blood vessels throughout the body.
  • CT is the most commonly used imaging method for evaluating the chest
  • It is used to obtain very detailed pictures of the heart and blood vessels in children, even new-born infants.
  • CT is well-suited for imaging diseases or impairment of vital organs in the stomach including the kidney, spleen and the liver.
  • CT scans can help in detect sores or tumours in the pelvis and assess for masses in the urinary region
  • CT is an added example of new medical technology to help doctors specifically to diagnose disease. Patients with heart disease require specific diagnoses, and they frequently want them quick.

Cancer: Establishing metastasis

Human VRK1 Is an Early Response Gene and Its Loss Causes a Block in Cell Cycle Progression??Radiology
In mammalian cells, the regulatory proteins that control the cell cycle are necessary due to the requirements of living in a heterogeneous environment of cellular interactions and growth factors. VRK1 is a new serine-threonine kinase that phosphorylates several transcription factors and is associated with proliferation phenotypes.

Scientists have discovered that a protein called VRK1 could help cancer take root in new parts of the body. It was discovered that VRK1 is necessary for the mesenchymal to epithelial transition, which scientists suspect may be important for the establishment of metastases. The expression of the VRK1 gene is activated by the addition of serum to the cells deprived of food, which indicates that it is required for the exit of the G0 phase and the entry in G1; a response that parallels the re-expression of MYC, FOS and CCND1 genes (cyclin D1), suggesting that VRK1 is an early response gene. The expression of the VRK1 gene is also closed by serum extraction.

The promoter of the human VRK1 gene cloned in a luciferase reporter responds similarly to serum. In response to serum, the expression level of the VRK1 protein has a positive correlation with cell proliferation markers such as phosphorylated Rb or PCNA, and is inversely correlated with cell cycle inhibitors such as p27. Removal of VRK1 by siRNA results in a G1 block in cell division and in the loss of phosphorylated Rb, cyclin D1 and other proliferation markers. The elimination of VRK1 by siRNA induces a reduction of cell proliferation.. VRK1 is colocalized with p63 in proliferating areas of squamous epithelium, and identifies a subpopulation in the basal layer.

They observed that cells with high levels of VRK1 were more apt to form cell-to-cell connections and had lower levels of mesenchymal markers that are often present in cancer cells. On the contrary, the cells seemed to undergo the opposite transition, from mesenchymal to epithelial. The cells were much less likely to migrate. If high levels of VRK1 caused cancer cells to migrate more slowly, perhaps VRK1 was necessary to allow cells to colonize a new area of ​​the body.

Significance

VRK1 is an immediate early response gene required for entry into G1, and due to its involvement in normal cell proliferation and division, it could be a new target for the development of inhibitors of cell proliferation. In addition, VRK1 may one day serve as a biomarker for aggressive cancers, which could inform oncologists as they decide on more advanced or conservative treatments.

Brain scans show why people get aggressive after the drink

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MRI study highlights how sections of the brain that rage aggression shut off when people intake alcohol.

Scientist and Researcher Professionals have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) investigates that measure blood circulation in the brain to completely explain why people often become belligerent and stringent after dissipating alcohol. After barely a couple of drinks, the researchers remarked variations in the performance of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part commonly associated with moderating a person’s levels of aggressiveness.

According to most opinions, alcohol-related aggressiveness is affected by alterations in the prefrontal cortex. The members were each offered two drinks comprising vodka or placebo drinks without any alcohol.

 While resting in an MRI scanner, the members later had to compete in a task which has constantly been practiced over the past 50 years to recognize levels of aggressiveness in acknowledgement to inducement.

The functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed the researchers to see which areas of the brain were triggered when the task was performed.

They could also distinguish the variation in scans between members who had drunk alcohol and those who hadn’t. Being provoked was found to have no impact on participants’ neural acknowledgements. Yet, when acting aggressively, there was a dip in activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brains of those who had applied alcoholic drinks. This dampening influence was also observed in the regions of the cerebellum that are associated reward. Also, increased activity was noted in the hippocampus, the part of the brain correlated with people’s memory.

 The consequences are mostly compatible with a developing body of research about the neural source of an attack, and how it is triggered by changes in the way that the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system and reward-related regions of the brain function. The results of the current study are also consistent with several psychological theories of alcohol-related aggression.

 Radiology and Oncology 2019  planning can be a complete process comprising of a number of health-care experts, including researchers and consultants (radiologists and oncologists),nurses, radiographers and other technicians at the 3rd  World congress on Radiology and Oncology going to be held at Abu Dhabi, UAE