Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Growth Noteworthy

The popularity of musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSK-US) has taken off in recent years with the addition of portable ultrasound technology and greater imaging resolution.  This area of growth has not been fueled by radiologists, instead many physicians in sports medicine, general practice and rheumatology are driving this phenomenon.  I work in the health care educational field, and I have noticed out courses in MSK are very popular.  Our next general course in MSK-US is Feb 26-27 here in Houston.   Please visit for more information.  I think MSK-US is a wonderful tool for examining all sorts of aches and pains, and I predict it will continue to grow as more health care providers discover the benefits.  Here is part of an article I found at Auntminnie that explains this topic further.  Cheers!

December 2, 2010 -- CHICAGO - Musculoskeletal ultrasound usage nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2008, driven primarily by increased utilization by nonradiologists, according to a study presented Thursday at the 2010 RSNA meeting in Chicago.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stress Echocardiography New and Improved?

Some news came out today regarding one of the FDA approved ultrasound contrast agents regarding the use of contrast when performing stress echocardiography. 

No. BILLERICA, Mass. (December 13, 2010)Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a worldwide leader in diagnostic medical imaging, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the company’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for DEFINITY® (Perflutren Lipid Microsphere) Injectable Suspension for use in stress echocardiography.  DEFINITY® is currently indicated for use in patients with suboptimal echocardiograms to opacify the left ventricular chamber and to improve the delineation of the left ventricular endocardial border1.  With this acceptance, the FDA will now review the sNDA to determine whether or not to broaden the FDA-approved indication for DEFINITY® to include its use with exercise and pharmacologic stress testing.

Several labs have been using intravenous ultrasound contrast for years when performing stress echos because the border definition is better for most studies when contrast is applied.  One of the downsides to a stress echo is the loss of wall definition at peak exercise even in patients who have fairly good windows.  Contrast adds an extra level of insurance that the walls will be seen better in most echos.  It is news to me that the FDA has not approved contrast for use in stress echo, but has approved it for many years in resting echocardiography.  Perhaps the up side here is that labs can now be re-reimbursed for using contrast in this capacity.  I had erroneously thought that the FDA had already approved intravenous ultrasound contrast for both resting and stress echos.  Live and learn.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Man is Told He is Pregnant in the UK

A man in the UK has been sent a letter by the state run health service informing him that he is pregnant.  Last time I heard of this happened it involved a California Govinator in a Hollywood movie.  I guess this goes in the same category as family pets being sent credit card applications.  I wonder who will host the baby shower.

Hilton Plettell should expect the pitter-patter of tiny feet in seven months’ time, according to the correspondence sent to him from the obstetric department of a hospital in Norwich.
The 50-year-old, from Kings Heath, said he was “flabbergasted” when he received the appointment letter inviting him to a scan – and warning him he could be expecting twins!

Opening “Dear Mr Plettell”, the note also advised him: “Please also attend with a full bladder, which is important for your planned ultrasound. An ultrasound scan is used to check the pregnancy, to determine how far pregnant you are, and sometimes it can show twins.”

Hilton, who never got round to having children and works as a merchandising manager, said: “It came as a bit of a shock, I’ve shown the letter to quite a few friends and they can’t believe it.

“I knew the letter was genuine. The date of birth, the National Insurance number and everything on there is correct. I’m just surprised they can send something like that.”

Read More

Monday, December 6, 2010

HE is on HIS Way

An ecumenical Christian nonprofit group in England has created a unique Advent advertising campaign. Starting Monday, and running through December 20, billboards and posters will show a mock-up of an ultrasound of baby Jesus, complete with halo. The words are simple: “He’s on His way . . . Christmas starts with Christ.”

Merry Christmas All