Abstract: Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), described in the medical literature since 1938, is characterized by distinctive muscular symptoms, neurological symptoms, and signs of circulatory impairment. The only mandatory feature of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), introduced in 1988 and redefined in 1994, is chronic fatigue, which should be accompanied by at least four or more out of eight “additional” symptoms. The use of the abstract, polythetic criteria of CFS, which define a heterogeneous patient population, and self-report has hampered both scientific progress and accurate diagnosis. To resolve the “diagnostic impasse” the Institute of Medicine proposes that a new clinical entity, systemic exercise intolerance disease (SEID), should replace the clinical entities ME and CFS. However, adopting SEID and its defining symptoms, does not resolve methodological and diagnostic issues. Firstly, a new diagnostic entity cannot replace two distinct, partially overlapping, clinical entities such as ME and CFS. Secondly, due to the nature of the diagnostic criteria, the employment of self-report, and the lack of criteria to exclude patients with other conditions, the SEID criteria seem to select an even more heterogeneous patient population, causing additional diagnostic confusion. This article discusses methodological and diagnostic issues related to SEID and proposes a methodological solution for the current “diagnostic impasse”.
Abstract: Image-guided tumor ablation provides curative treatment in properly selected patients or appropriate therapeutic options whenever surgical techniques are precluded. Tumor response assessment post ablation is important in determining treatment success and future therapy. Accurate interpretation of post-ablation imaging findings is crucial for therapeutic and follow-up strategies. Computed Tomography (CT) and Ultrasound (US) play important roles in patients’ follow-up post liver thermal ablation therapies. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) can provide valuable information on the ablation effects faster and at a lower cost than computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. However, a disadvantage is that the technique cannot examine total liver parenchyma for disease progression as CT and Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging can. Follow-up strategies for assessment of tumor response includes contrast enhanced multiphasic (non-contrast, arterial, portal, delayed phases) imaging with Computed Tomography at three, six, and 12 months post ablation session and annually ever since in order to prove sustained effectiveness of the ablation or detect progression.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess inter- and intra-observer reproducibility of three different analytic methods to evaluate quantitative dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) measures from gastroesophageal junctional cancer. Twenty-five DCE-CT studies with gastroesophageal junction cancer were selected from a previous longitudinal study. Three radiologists independently reviewed all scans, and one repeated the analysis eight months later for intraobserver analysis. Review of the scans consisted of three analysis methods: (I) Four, fixed small sized regions of interest (2-dimensional (2D) fixed ROIs) placed in the tumor periphery, (II) 2-dimensional regions of interest (2D-ROI) along the tumor border in the tumor center, and (III) 3-dimensional volumes of interest (3D-VOI) containing the entire tumor volume. Arterial flow, blood volume and permeability (ktrans) were recorded for each observation. Inter- and intra-observer variability were assessed by Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman statistics. Interobserver ICC was excellent for arterial flow (0.88), for blood volume (0.89) and for permeability (0.91) with 3D-VOI analysis. The 95% limits of agreement were narrower for 3D analysis compared to 2D analysis. Three-dimensional volume DCE-CT analysis of gastroesophageal junction cancer provides higher inter- and intra-observer reproducibility with narrower limits of agreement between readers compared to 2D analysis.
Abstract: As the population of the world increases, there will be larger numbers of people with dementia and an emerging need for prompt diagnosis and treatment. Early dementia screening is the process by which a patient who might be in the prodromal phases of a dementing illness is determined as having, or not having, the hallmarks of a neurodegenerative condition. The concepts of mild cognitive impairment, or mild neurocognitive disorder, are useful in analyzing the patient in the prodromal phase of a dementing disease; however, the transformation to dementia may be as low as 10% per annum. The search for early dementia requires a comprehensive clinical evaluation, cognitive assessment, determination of functional status, corroborative history and imaging (including MRI, FDG-PET and maybe amyloid PET), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination assaying Aβ1–42, T-τ and P-τ might also be helpful. Primary care physicians are fundamental in the screening process and are vital in initiating specialist investigation and treatment. Early dementia screening is especially important in an age where there is a search for disease modifying therapies, where there is mounting evidence that treatment, if given early, might influence the natural history—hence the need for cost-effective screening measures for early dementia.
Abstract: Biliary atresia (BA) is an obliterative cholangiopathy affecting 1:10.000–14.000 of newborns. Infants with Biliary Atresia Splenic Malformation syndrome (BASM) are a subgroup of BA patients with additional congenital anomalies. Untreated the disease will result in fatal liver failure within the first years of life. Kasai portoenterostomy restores bile flow and delay the progressive liver damage thereby postponing liver transplantation. An early diagnosis is of most importance to ensure the effectiveness of the operation. The 99mTc-Mebrofenin hepatobiliary scintigraphy is part of the diagnostic strategy when an infant presents jaundice due to conjugated hyperbilirubinemia (>20 µmol/L total bilirubin of which 20% is conjugated) with its high sensitivity of 97%–100% in refuting BA. Rapid extraction of tracer by the liver and no visible tracer in the small bowl after 24 h is indicative of BA. Laparotomy with antegrade cholangiography is then performed giving the final diagnosis when the remains of the obliterated biliary tree are revealed in the case of BA. We present a case demonstrating some of the challenges of interpreting the 99mTc-Mebrofenin hepatobiliary scintigraphy in an infant with BASM and stress the importance that the 99mTc-Mebrofenin hepatobiliary scintigraphy is part of a spectrum of imaging modalities in diagnosing BA.