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Hand hygiene knowledge and perceptions among anesthesia providers

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:38pm

BACKGROUND: Health care worker compliance with hand hygiene guidelines is an important measure for health care-associated infection prevention, yet overall compliance across all health care arenas remains low. A correct answer to 4 of 4 structured questions pertaining to indications for hand decontamination (according to types of contact) has been associated with improved health care provider hand hygiene compliance when compared to those health care providers answering incorrectly for 1 or more questions. A better understanding of knowledge deficits among anesthesia providers may lead to hand hygiene improvement strategies. In this study, our primary aims were to characterize and identify predictors for hand hygiene knowledge deficits among anesthesia providers.

METHODS: We modified this previously tested survey instrument to measure anesthesia provider hand hygiene knowledge regarding the 5 moments of hand hygiene across national and multicenter groups. Complete knowledge was defined by correct answers to 5 questions addressing the 5 moments for hand hygiene and received a score of 1. Incomplete knowledge was defined by an incorrect answer to 1 or more of the 5 questions and received a score of 0. We used a multilevel random-effects XTMELOGIT logistic model clustering at the respondent and geographic location for insufficient knowledge and forward/backward stepwise logistic regression analysis to identify predictors for incomplete knowledge.

RESULTS: The survey response rates were 55.8% and 18.2% for the multicenter and national survey study groups, respectively. One or more knowledge deficits occurred with 81.6% of survey respondents, with the mean number of correct answers 2.89 (95% confidence interval, 2.78- 2.99). Failure of providers to recognize prior contact with the environment and prior contact with the patient as hand hygiene opportunities contributed to the low mean. Several cognitive factors were associated with a reduced risk of incomplete knowledge including providers responding positively to washing their hands after contact with the environment (odds ratio [OR] 0.23, 0.14-0.37, P < 0.001), disinfecting their environment during patient care (OR 0.54, 0.35-0.82, P = 0.004), believing that they can influence their colleagues (OR 0.43, 0.27-0.68, P < 0.001), and intending to adhere to guidelines (OR 0.56, 0.36-0.86, P = 0.008). These covariates were associated with an area under receiver operator characteristics curve of 0.79 (95% confidence interval, 0.74-0.83).

CONCLUSIONS: Anesthesia provider knowledge deficits around to hand hygiene guidelines occur frequently and are often due to failure to recognize opportunities for hand hygiene after prior contact with contaminated patient and environmental reservoirs. Intraoperative hand hygiene improvement programs should address these knowledge deficits. Predictors for incomplete knowledge as identified in this study should be validated in future studies.

Transmission dynamics of gram-negative bacterial pathogens in the anesthesia work area

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:38pm

BACKGROUND: Gram-negative organisms are a major health care concern with increasing prevalence of infection and community spread. Our primary aim was to characterize the transmission dynamics of frequently encountered gram-negative bacteria in the anesthesia work area environment (AWE). Our secondary aim was to examine links between these transmission events and 30-day postoperative health care-associated infections (HCAIs).

METHODS: Gram-negative isolates obtained from the AWE (patient nasopharynx and axilla, anesthesia provider hands, and the adjustable pressure-limiting valve and agent dial of the anesthesia machine) at 3 major academic medical centers were identified as possible intraoperative bacterial transmission events by class of pathogen, temporal association, and phenotypic analysis (analytical profile indexing). The top 5 frequently encountered genera were subjected to antibiotic disk diffusion sensitivity to identify epidemiologically related transmission events. Complete multivariable logistic regression analysis and binomial tests of proportion were then used to examine the relative contributions of reservoirs of origin and within- and between-case modes of transmission, respectively, to epidemiologically related transmission events. Analyses were conducted with and without the inclusion of duplicate transmission events of the same genera occurring in a given study unit (first and second case of the day in each operating room observed) to examine the potential effect of statistical dependency. Transmitted isolates were compared by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to disease-causing bacteria for 30-day postoperative HCAIs.

RESULTS: The top 5 frequently encountered gram-negative genera included Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Brevundimonas, Enterobacter, and Moraxella that together accounted for 81% (767/945) of possible transmission events. For all isolates, 22% (167/767) of possible transmission events were identified by antibiotic susceptibility patterns as epidemiologically related and underwent further study of transmission dynamics. There were 20 duplicates involving within- and between-case transmission events. Thus, approximately 19% (147/767) of isolates excluding duplicates were considered epidemiologically related. Contaminated provider hand reservoirs were less likely (all isolates, odds ratio 0.12, 95% confidence interval 0.03-0.50, P = 0.004; without duplicate events, odds ratio 0.05, 95% confidence interval 0.01-0.49, P = 0.010) than contaminated patient or environmental sites to serve as the reservoir of origin for epidemiologically related transmission events. Within- and between-case modes of gram-negative bacilli transmission occurred at similar rates (all isolates, 7% between-case, 5.2% within-case, binomial P value 0.176; without duplicates, 6.3% between-case, 3.7% within-case, binomial P value 0.036). Overall, 4.0% (23/548) of patients suffered from HCAIs and had an intraoperative exposure to gram-negative isolates. In 8.0% (2/23) of those patients, gram-negative bacteria were linked by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to the causative organism of infection. Patient and provider hands were identified as the reservoirs of origin and the environment confirmed as a vehicle for between-case transmission events linked to HCAIs.

CONCLUSIONS: Between- and within-case AWE gram-negative bacterial transmission occurs frequently and is linked by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to 30-day postoperative infections. Provider hands are less likely than contaminated environmental or patient skin surfaces to serve as the reservoir of origin for transmission events.

Blood Transfusions May Have Limited Effect on Muscle Oxygenation After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:37pm

BACKGROUND: Traditionally, blood transfusions in the perioperative setting are used to maintain adequate delivery of nutrients and oxygen to organs. However, the effect of blood administration on tissue oxygenation in the perioperative setting remains poorly understood.

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: The aim of this study was to determine changes in muscle tissue oxygenation saturation (SmO2) in response to perioperative blood transfusions.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty were enrolled. SmO2, continuous hemoglobin (SpHb), stroke volume (SV), cardiac index, and standard hemodynamic parameters including heart rate (HR), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), and arterial oxygen saturation (SO2) were recorded. To assess fluid responsiveness, a passive leg raise (PLR) test was performed before the transfusions were started.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients were included in the analysis. Mean (+/-SD) SmO2 before transfusion was 63.18 +/- 10.04%, SpHb was 9.27 +/- 1.16 g/dl, and cardiac index was 2.62 +/- 0.75 L/min/m(2). A significant increase during the course of blood transfusion was found for SmO2 (+3.44 +/- 5.81% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04 to 5.84], p = 0.007), SpHb (0.74 +/- 0.92 g/dl [95% CI 0.35 to 1.12], p < 0.001), and cardiac index (0.38 +/- 0.51 L/min/m2 [95% CI 0.15 to 0.60], p = 0.002), respectively. However, the correlation between SmO2 and SpHb over the course of the transfusion was negligible (rho = 0.25 [95% CI -0.03 to 0.48]). A similar lack of correlation was found when analyzing data of those patients who showed a positive leg raise test before the start of the transfusion (rho = 0.37 [95% CI -0.11 to 0.84]).

CONCLUSION: We detected a statistically significant increase in SmO2 during the course of a single unit blood transfusion compared to baseline. However, there was no evidence of a correlation between longitudinal SmO2 and SpHb measurements.

Safety and efficacy of commonly used antiemetics

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:37pm

INTRODUCTION: Clinicians use antiemetic drugs in a multitude of scenarios. Despite the differences in subspecialty and etiology of the nausea, practitioners of all subspecialties use the same drugs in similar ways to provide relief for their patients.

AREAS COVERED: Multiple classes of antiemetics are used frequently but no single treatment course works for all types of patients. The complex etiology of nausea often requires a multimodal approach that targets the same symptom through different sites of action. Antiemetics have unique side effects and safety profiles which are covered in this review. Antihistamines, phenothiazines, corticosteroids, benzamindes, anticholinergic, neurokinin-1 antagonists, 5-HT3 receptor antagonist and cannabinoids are discussed. These drugs were evaluated based on an in-depth literature review including a review of the original research that led to many of the drugs initial FDA approval, via internet and PubMed searches.

EXPERT OPINION: The key to providing relief for patients suffering from nausea and vomiting is to consider multiple drugs to approach the nausea in a systematic way. Anesthesiologists identify patients who are at high risk of nausea and vomiting based on physical characteristics and surgical procedures. Oncologists treat nausea based on the prescribed chemotherapeutics regimen and known risk of emesis while palliative care physicians and others balance the etiology of the nausea while optimizing patients other co morbid conditions.

The Modified Apnea Test During Brain Death Determination: An Alternative in Patients With Hypoxia

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:37pm

INTRODUCTION: Conventional apnea testing in patients with severe hypoxemia or hemodynamic instability with removal from the ventilator support is unsafe. We describe an alternative approach to apnea testing, which may be used in patients with hypoxia unable to undergo conventional apnea testing.

METHODS: Case Report. A 42-year-old man had a severe traumatic brain injury resulting in diffuse cerebral edema and subarachnoid hemorrhage with herniation. His presentation was complicated by hypoxic respiratory failure from pulmonary contusions and hemorrhagic shock. On hospital day 2, the patient lost brain stem reflexes. Brain death testing with conventional apnea testing was attempted but aborted due to hypoxia.

RESULTS: A modified apnea test was applied, which had been approved by appropriate hospital committees including critical care operations, ethics, and the brain death protocol council. Minute ventilation was gradually decreased by > /=50% to attain a PaCo2 level > /=20 mm Hg above baseline. The ventilation mode was then switched from volume control to continuous positive airway pressure while observing the patient for signs of respiration for a duration of 60 seconds.

CONCLUSION: The modified apnea test does not require circuit disconnection and can be successfully applied to determine brain death without compromising safety in high-risk patients having severe hypoxia.

Life after acute fibrinous and organizing pneumonia: a case report of a patient 30 months after diagnosis and review of the literature

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 4:37pm

Acute fibrinous and organizing pneumonia (AFOP) is a rare histologic interstitial pneumonia pattern recently described in the literature with fewer than 120 cases published. AFOP is often difficult to diagnose and may be mistaken for other pulmonary disorders such as interstitial pneumonias or pneumonitides. Patients often present with vague symptoms of cough, dyspnea, hemoptysis, fatigue, and occasionally respiratory failure. Radiological findings show diffuse patchy opacities and ground glass appearance of the lungs. On histologic examination, intra-alveolar fibrin balls are observed. We discuss a case of a man who presented with hemoptysis and dyspnea and whose open lung biopsy revealed AFOP. We will describe the presentation, diagnosis, and post-discharge course, and review the current literature. There are only 4 cases which have reported the patients' course of disease after 1 year, the longest being 2 years. To our knowledge, this is the only case of AFOP in the literature that describes the course of a patient more than 2 years after the diagnosis of AFOP, and is the most comprehensive review of the current literature.

Feasibility of Small Animal Anatomical and Functional Imaging with Neutrons: A Monte Carlo Simulation Study

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

A novel technique is presented for obtaining a single in-vivo image containing both functional and anatomical information in a small animal model such as a mouse. This technique, which incorporates appropriate image neutron-scatter rejection and uses a neutron opaque contrast agent, is based on neutron radiographic technology and was demonstrated through a series of Monte Carlo simulations. With respect to functional imaging, this technique can be useful in biomedical and biological research because it could achieve a spatial resolution orders of magnitude better than what presently can be achieved with current functional imaging technologies such as nuclear medicine (PET, SPECT) and fMRI. For these studies, Monte Carlo simulations were performed with thermal (0.025 eV) neutrons in a 3 cm thick phantom using the MCNP5 simulations software. The goals of these studies were to determine: 1) the extent that scattered neutrons degrade image contrast; 2) the contrasts of various normal and diseased tissues under conditions of complete scatter rejection; 3) the concentrations of Boron-10 and Gadolinium-157 required for contrast differentiation in functional imaging; and 4) the efficacy of collimation for neutron scatter image rejection. Results demonstrate that with proper neutron-scatter rejection, a neutron fluence of 2 ×107 n/cm2 will provide a signal to noise ratio of at least one ( S/N ≥ 1) when attempting to image various 300 μm thick tissues placed in a 3 cm thick phantom. Similarly, a neutron fluence of only 1 ×107 n/cm2 is required to differentiate a 300 μm thick diseased tissue relative to its normal tissue counterpart. The utility of a B-10 contrast agent was demonstrated at a concentration of 50 μg/g to achieve S/N ≥ 1 in 0.3 mm thick tissues while Gd-157 requires only slightly more than 10 μg/g to achieve the same level of differentiation. Lastly, neutr- n collimator with an L/D ratio from 50 to 200 were calculated to provide appropriate scatter rejection for thick tissue biological imaging with neutrons.

Aneurysm permeability following coil embolization: packing density and coil distribution

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

BACKGROUND: Rates of durable aneurysm occlusion following coil embolization vary widely, and a better understanding of coil mass mechanics is desired. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of packing density and coil uniformity on aneurysm permeability.

METHODS: Aneurysm models were coiled using either Guglielmi detachable coils or Target coils. The permeability was assessed by taking the ratio of microspheres passing through the coil mass to those in the working fluid. Aneurysms containing coil masses were sectioned for image analysis to determine surface area fraction and coil uniformity.

RESULTS: All aneurysms were coiled to a packing density of at least 27%. Packing density, surface area fraction of the dome and neck, and uniformity of the dome were significantly correlated (p < 0.05). Hence, multivariate principal components-based partial least squares regression models were used to predict permeability. Similar loading vectors were obtained for packing and uniformity measures. Coil mass permeability was modeled better with the inclusion of packing and uniformity measures of the dome (r(2)=0.73) than with packing density alone (r(2)=0.45). The analysis indicates the importance of including a uniformity measure for coil distribution in the dome along with packing measures.

CONCLUSIONS: A densely packed aneurysm with a high degree of coil mass uniformity will reduce permeability.

Treatment failure of fetal posterior communicating artery aneurysms with the pipeline embolization device

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

Aneurysms that involve the internal carotid artery and posterior communicating artery junction and incorporate a fetal posterior cerebral artery are known as fetal posterior communicating artery aneurysms. We report the outcomes of four patients with fetal posterior communicating artery aneurysms who underwent treatment with the pipeline embolization device with or without adjunctive coil embolization. In our study, all four patients failed to achieve aneurysm occlusion at the last follow-up evaluation. Based on our results, we currently do not recommend the use of the flow diverter for the treatment of fetal posterior communicating artery aneurysms.

Phenoxide-Bridged Zinc(II)-Bis(dipicolylamine) Probes for Molecular Imaging of Cell Death

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

Cell death is involved in many pathological conditions, and there is a need for clinical and preclinical imaging agents that can target and report cell death. One of the best known biomarkers of cell death is exposure of the anionic phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) on the surface of dead and dying cells. Synthetic zinc(II)-bis(dipicolylamine) (Zn2BDPA) coordination complexes are known to selectively recognize PS-rich membranes and act as cell death molecular imaging agents. However, there is a need to improve in vivo imaging performance by selectively increasing target affinity and decreasing off-target accumulation. This present study compared the cell death targeting ability of two new deep-red fluorescent probes containing phenoxide-bridged Zn2BDPA complexes. One probe was a bivalent version of the other and associated more strongly with PS-rich liposome membranes. However, the bivalent probe exhibited self-quenching on the membrane surface, so the monovalent version produced brighter micrographs of dead and dying cells in cell culture and also better fluorescence imaging contrast in two living animal models of cell death (rat implanted tumor with necrotic core and mouse thymus atrophy). An 111In-labeled radiotracer version of the monovalent probe also exhibited selective cell death targeting ability in the mouse thymus atrophy model, with relatively high amounts detected in dead and dying tissue and low off-target accumulation in nonclearance organs. The in vivo biodistribution profile is the most favorable yet reported for a Zn2BDPA complex; thus, the monovalent phenoxide-bridged Zn2BDPA scaffold is a promising candidate for further development as a cell death imaging agent in living subjects.

Imaging Inflammation in Cerebrovascular Disease

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

Imaging inflammation in large intracranial artery pathology may play an important role in the diagnosis of and risk stratification for a variety of cerebrovascular diseases. Looking beyond the lumen has already generated widespread excitement in the stroke community, and the potential to unveil molecular processes in the vessel wall is a natural evolution to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the pathogenesis of diseases, such as ICAD and brain aneurysms.

Conventional Medical Education and the History of Simulation in Radiology

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

Simulation is a promising method for improving clinician performance, enhancing team training, increasing patient safety, and preventing errors. Training scenarios to enrich medical student and resident education, and apply toward competency assessment, recertification, and credentialing are important applications of simulation in radiology. This review will describe simulation training for procedural skills, interpretive and noninterpretive skills, team-based training and crisis management, professionalism and communication skills, as well as hybrid and in situ applications of simulation training. A brief overview of current simulation equipment and software and the barriers and strategies for implementation are described. Finally, methods of measuring competency and assessment are described, so that the interested reader can successfully implement simulation training into their practice.

A Finite Element Method to Predict Adverse Events in Intracranial Stenting Using Microstents: In Vitro Verification and Patient Specific Case Study

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of stent supported coiling for intra-cranial aneurysm treatment. Despite encouraging outcomes, some matters are yet to be addressed. In particular closed stent designs are influenced by the delivery technique and may suffer from under-expansion, with the typical effect of "hugging" the inner curvature of the vessel which seems related to adverse events. In this study we propose a novel finite element (FE) environment to study potential failure able to reproduce the microcatheter "pull-back" delivery technique. We first verified our procedure with published in vitro data and then replicated the intervention on one patient treated with a 4.5 x 22 mm Enterprise microstent (Codman Neurovascular; Raynham MA, USA). Results showed good agreement with the in vitro test, catching both size and location of the malapposed area. A simulation of a 28 mm stent in the same geometry highlighted the impact of the delivery technique, which leads to larger area of malapposition. The patient specific simulation matched the global stent configuration and zones prone to malapposition shown on the clinical images with difference in tortuosity between actual and virtual treatment around 2.3%. We conclude that the presented FE strategy provides an accurate description of the stent mechanics and, after further in vivo validation and optimization, will be a tool to aid clinicians to anticipate the acute procedural outcome avoiding poor initial results.

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis: State of the Art

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:09pm

This topical review on digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is provided with the intent of describing the state of the art in terms of technology, results from recent clinical studies, advanced applications, and ongoing efforts to develop multimodality imaging systems that include DBT. Particular emphasis is placed on clinical studies. The observations of increase in cancer detection rates, particularly for invasive cancers, and the reduction in false-positive rates with DBT in prospective trials indicate its benefit for breast cancer screening. Retrospective multireader multicase studies show either noninferiority or superiority of DBT compared with mammography. Methods to curtail radiation dose are of importance.

Scatter and crosstalk corrections for (99m)Tc/(123)I dual-radionuclide imaging using a CZT SPECT system with pinhole collimators

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:08pm

PURPOSE: The energy spectrum for a cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detector has a low energy tail due to incomplete charge collection and intercrystal scattering. Due to these solid-state detector effects, scatter would be overestimated if the conventional triple-energy window (TEW) method is used for scatter and crosstalk corrections in CZT-based imaging systems. The objective of this work is to develop a scatter and crosstalk correction method for (99m)Tc/(123)I dual-radionuclide imaging for a CZT-based dedicated cardiac SPECT system with pinhole collimators (GE Discovery NM 530c/570c).

METHODS: A tailing model was developed to account for the low energy tail effects of the CZT detector. The parameters of the model were obtained using (99m)Tc and (123)I point source measurements. A scatter model was defined to characterize the relationship between down-scatter and self-scatter projections. The parameters for this model were obtained from Monte Carlo simulation using SIMIND. The tailing and scatter models were further incorporated into a projection count model, and the primary and self-scatter projections of each radionuclide were determined with a maximum likelihood expectation maximization (MLEM) iterative estimation approach. The extracted scatter and crosstalk projections were then incorporated into MLEM image reconstruction as an additive term in forward projection to obtain scatter- and crosstalk-corrected images. The proposed method was validated using Monte Carlo simulation, line source experiment, anthropomorphic torso phantom studies, and patient studies. The performance of the proposed method was also compared to that obtained with the conventional TEW method.

RESULTS: Monte Carlo simulations and line source experiment demonstrated that the TEW method overestimated scatter while their proposed method provided more accurate scatter estimation by considering the low energy tail effect. In the phantom study, improved defect contrasts were observed with both correction methods compared to no correction, especially for the images of (99m)Tc in dual-radionuclide imaging where there is heavy contamination from (123)I. In this case, the nontransmural defect contrast was improved from 0.39 to 0.47 with the TEW method and to 0.51 with their proposed method and the transmural defect contrast was improved from 0.62 to 0.74 with the TEW method and to 0.73 with their proposed method. In the patient study, the proposed method provided higher myocardium-to-blood pool contrast than that of the TEW method. Similar to the phantom experiment, the improvement was the most substantial for the images of (99m)Tc in dual-radionuclide imaging. In this case, the myocardium-to-blood pool ratio was improved from 7.0 to 38.3 with the TEW method and to 63.6 with their proposed method. Compared to the TEW method, the proposed method also provided higher count levels in the reconstructed images in both phantom and patient studies, indicating reduced overestimation of scatter. Using the proposed method, consistent reconstruction results were obtained for both single-radionuclide data with scatter correction and dual-radionuclide data with scatter and crosstalk corrections, in both phantom and human studies.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors demonstrate that the TEW method leads to overestimation in scatter and crosstalk for the CZT-based imaging system while the proposed scatter and crosstalk correction method can provide more accurate self-scatter and down-scatter estimations for quantitative single-radionuclide and dual-radionuclide imaging.

Calibration and optimization of 3D digital breast tomosynthesis guided near infrared spectral tomography

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:08pm

Calibration of a three-dimensional multimodal digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) x-ray and non-fiber based near infrared spectral tomography (NIRST) system is challenging but essential for clinical studies. Phantom imaging results yielded linear contrast recovery of total hemoglobin (HbT) concentration for cylindrical inclusions of 15 mm, 10 mm and 7 mm with a 3.5% decrease in the HbT estimate for each 1 cm increase in inclusion depth. A clinical exam of a patient's breast containing both benign and malignant lesions was successfully imaged, with greater HbT was found in the malignancy relative to the benign abnormality and fibroglandular regions (11 muM vs. 9.5 muM). Tools developed improved imaging system characterization and optimization of signal quality, which will ultimately improve patient selection and subsequent clinical trial results.

Association Between Confidence Level of Acute Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis on CTPA images and Clinical Outcomes

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:08pm

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose was to evaluate clinical characteristics associated with low confidence in diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism (PE) as expressed in computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) reports and to evaluate the effect of confidence level in PE diagnosis on patient clinical outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included radiology reports from 1664 consecutive CTPA considered positive for acute PE (8/2003-5/2010). All reports were retrospectively assessed for the level of confidence in diagnosis. Baseline characteristics and outcomes (therapies related to PE and short-term mortality) were compared between high and low confidence groups. Multivariable logistic and Cox regression analyses were used to analyze the relationship between the confidence level and outcomes.

RESULTS: One-hundred sixty of 1664 (9.6%) reports had language that reflected a low confidence in PE diagnosis. The low confidence group had smaller (segmental and subsegmental) suspected emboli (prevalence, 72.5% vs. 50.7%; P < .001) and more comorbidities. The low confidence group had a lower likelihood of receiving PE-related therapies (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.18; 95% confidence interval, 0.10-031, P < .001), but there was no change in the all-cause and PE-related 30-day and/or 90-day mortality (OR of death for low confidence, 0.81-1.13, P values > .5).

CONCLUSIONS: Roughly 10% of positive CTPA reports had uncertainty in PE findings, and patients with reports categorized as low confidence had smaller emboli and more comorbidities. Although the low confidence group was less likely to receive PE-related therapies, patients in this group were not associated with higher probability of short-term mortality.

Safety, efficacy, and short-term follow-up of the use of Pipeline Embolization Device in small ( < 2.5mm) cerebral vessels for aneurysm treatment: single institution experience

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:08pm

INTRODUCTION: Flow diversion is being increasingly used to treat cerebral aneurysms. We present our experience using these stents to treat aneurysms distal to the circle of Willis with parent arteries smaller than 2.5 mm.

METHODS: Aneurysms treated with a Pipeline Embolization Device in vessels less than 2.5 mm between June 2012 and August 2014 were included. We evaluated risk factors, family history of aneurysms, aneurysm characteristics, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and modified Rankin scale (mRS) on admission and angiography and clinical outcome at discharge, 6 months, and 1 year.

RESULTS: We included seven patients with a mean age of 65 years. The parent vessel size ranged from 1.5 to 2.3 mm; mean 1.9 mm. Location of the aneurysms was as follows: two aneurysms centered along the pericallosal artery (one left, one right), one on the right angular artery, one aneurysm at the anterior communicating artery (ACom), one at the ACom-right A2 anterior cerebral artery (ACA), one at the lenticulostriate artery, and one at the A1-A2 ACA artery. Aneurysms ranged from 1 to 12 mm in diameter. All aneurysms were treated with a single Pipeline Embolization Device (PED). No peri- or post-procedural complications or mortality occurred. The patients were discharged with no change in NIHSS or mRS score. Angiographic follow-up was available in six patients. Angiography showed complete aneurysm occlusion in all. NIHSS and mRS remained unchanged at follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Our preliminary results show that flow diversion technology is an effective and safe therapy for aneurysms located on small cerebral arteries. Larger studies with long-term follow-up are needed to validate our promising results.

Quantitative microstructural deficits in chronic phase of stroke with small volume infarcts: A Diffusion Tensor 3-D Tractographic Analysis

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:08pm

BACKGROUND: Non-infarct zone white matter wallerian degeneration is well-documented in large volume territorial infarctions. However to what extent these abnormalities exist in small volume infarction is not known, particularly since routine T2/FLAIR MR images show minimal changes in such cases. We therefore utilized DTI based quantitative 3D tractography for quantitative assessment of white matter integrity in chronic phase of small volume anterior circulation infarcts.

METHODS: Eleven chronic stroke subjects with small anterior circulation large vessel infarcts ( < /=10 cc volume of primary infarct) were compared with 8 age matched controls. These infarcts had negligible to mild gliosis and encephalomalacia in the primary infarct territory without obvious wallerian degeneration on conventional MRI. Quantitative Diffusion Tensor 3-D tractography was performed for CST, genu and splenium of corpus callosum. Tract based Trace and fractional anisotropy (FA) was compared with age matched controls.

RESULTS: On univariate analysis, Chronic stroke subjects had significant elevation in Trace measurement in genu of corpus callosum (GCC), ipsilesional and contralesional CST, (p < 0.05), compared to controls. After adjusting for smoking, hypertension (HTN) and non-specific white matter hyperintensities, (WMHs), there was significant elevation in trace within the ipsilesional CST (p=0.05). Contralesional CST FA correlated significantly with walking speed, r=0.67, p=0.03.

CONCLUSIONS: Stroke subjects with small volume infarcts demonstrate significant quantitative microstructural white matter abnormalities in chronic phase, which are otherwise subthreshold for detection on routine imaging. Ability to quantify these changes provides an important marker for assessing non-infarct zone neuroaxonal integrity in the chronic phase even in the setting of small infarction.

Prototypes of self-powered radiation detectors employing intrinsic high-energy current

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 12:08pm

PURPOSE: The authors experimentally investigate the effect of direct energy conversion of x-rays via selfpowered Auger- and photocurrent, potentially suitable to practical radiation detection and dosimetry in medical applications. Experimental results are compared to computational predictions. The detector the authors consider is a thin-film multilayer device, composed of alternating disparate electrically conductive and insulating layers. This paper focuses on the experiments while a companion paper introduces the fundamental concepts of high-energy current (HEC) detectors.

METHODS: The energy of ionizing radiation is directly converted to detector signal via electric current induced by high-energy secondary electrons generated in the detector material by the incident primary radiation. The HEC electrons also ionize the dielectric and the resultant charge carriers are selfcollected due to the contact potential of the disparate electrodes. Thus, an electric current is induced in the conductors in two different ways without the need for externally applied bias voltage or amplification. Thus, generated signal in turn is digitized by a data acquisition system. To determine the fundamental properties of the HEC detector and to demonstrate its feasibility for medical applications, the authors used a planar geometry composed of multilayer microstructures. Various detectors with up to seven conducting layers with different combinations of materials (250 mum Al, 35 mum Cu, 100 mum Pb) and air gaps (100 mum) were exposed to nearly plane-parallel 60-120 kVp x-ray beams. For the experimental design and verification, the authors performed coupled electron-photon radiation transport computations. The detector signal was measured using a commercial data acquisition system with 24 bits dynamic range, 0.4 fC sensitivity, and 0.9 ms sampling time.

RESULTS: Measured signals for the prototype detector varied depending on the number of layers, material type, and incident photon energy, and it was in the range of 30-150 nA/cm(2) for unit air kerma (1 Gy), which is viable for practical applications. The experiments had an excellent agreement with the computations. Within the examined range of 60-120 kVp, the energy dependence of the HEC (normalized to the x-ray tube output) was relatively small.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the experimental results for 100 ms sampling time, it would be possible to measure the time dependence of x-ray beams for x-ray tube current of 0.1 mA or higher. Significant advantages of the HEC device are that generation of its signal does not require external power supply, it can be made in any size and shape, including flexible curvilinear forms, and it is inexpensive. It remains to be determined, which of the potential applications in medical dosimetry (both in vivo and external), or radiation protection would benefit from such selfpowered detectors.