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Safety of CT and X-rays during pregnancy

Despite the stigma surrounding diagnostic imaging in pregnancy, such procedures are sometimes unavoidable and actually stand to bring more benefit than harm. Medical Imaging Technology explores the safety issues related to CT and X-rays during pregnancy, and determining the most appropriate course of action for these patients, with Dr Manjiri Dighe, associate professor of radiology at the University of Washington.

Brain-scanning method to treat chronic pain

Chronic pain is one of the least understood conditions in medicine, but scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have developed a new brain-scanning method that could have implications for more effective therapy for the disorder. Dr Marco Loggia, assistant professor of radiology, explains more.

Ultrasound to treat chronic wounds

Blasting chronic wounds with ultrasound could reduce healing times by a third compared with current treatments, but how soon will it be before the technology reaches the clinic and what are the implications for pregnancy scans? Elly Earls finds out from the University of Sheffield’s Dr Mark Bass.

Point of care tests for detecting streptococcus infections

Point-of-care tests for rapid detection of respiratory tract infections are emerging on the market. We explore how these products compare with those of bacterial culture for detecting streptococcus infections with Pentti Huovinen, dean of medicine at the University of Turku, Finland.

Optical coherence tomography for imaging brain tumours

Using optical coherence tomography for imaging brain tumours could make neurosurgery safer and more effective, improving patient survival rates, according to new research carried out at Johns Hopkins University. Elly Earls meets Dr Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, the clinical leader of the research team behind the discovery, to find out more.

Tomosynthesis has the potential for more accurate breast cancer screenings

Although still a relatively new form of mammography, tomosynthesis holds the potential to radically increase the ease and accuracy of breast cancer screenings. Sophie Peacock speaks to Dr Marina Alvarez Benito about how early-stage detection could be revolutionised by making 3D digital mammography the standard of care.

New method to detect blood clots

Currently, detection methods for blood clots are confined to scanning select areas of the body. However, a new technique developed at Massachusetts General Hospital promises to end that state of affairs by granting doctors the ability to survey the entire circulatory system in one scan. Greg Noone talks to Dr Peter Caravan, associate professor of radiology at the hospital, about the imaging potential of Cu-FBP8.

Better tests for Lyme disease

The majority of laboratory tests performed for the diagnosis of Lyme disease are based on detection of the antibody responses against Borrelia Burgdorferi in serum. As the sensitivity of such tests increase with the duration of the infection, patients early in their illness are more likely to register a false-negative result. The testing algorithm for the condition needs to be simplified – improving sensitivity in early disease, while maintaining high specificity. We speak to Dr Adriana Marques from the National Institutes of Health about how this might be accomplished.

Genetic sequencing to diagnose rare diseases

Rare diseases are surprisingly common – about 30 million EU citizens are currently living with them. As each condition typically only affects a handful of people, reaching a conclusive diagnosis can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Sarah Williams discusses the challenges and opportunities of genetic sequencing for diagnosing such conditions with Lucy Jenkins, interim director of the Regional Genetics Laboratories and consultant clinical scientist at the North East Thames Regional Genetics Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Digital future of the NHS

NHS patients with long-term illnesses could soon be able to be monitored remotely through high-tech gadgets that will link directly to their medical records. Within five years, patients across the UK should be able to speak to their GP online via videolink, order prescriptions or see their entire health record instantly. Nic Paton speaks to Beverley Bryant, NHS England director of strategic systems and technology, about the progress made in digital innovation in the NHS so far, and what changes will need to be made to meet this target.