Abstract: Our purpose in this study was to assess the relationship between contrast signal intensity (CI) and concentration of perflubutane microbubbles in a phantom experiment, and to examine the feasibility of this technique for quantitative analysis of vascularity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Microbubble solutions of the perflubutane contrast agent were prepared by mixing with purified water. We examined the relationship between CI in dB units and the concentration. Moreover, seven HCC patients were examined using real-time dynamic contrast imaging. The perfusion index was calculated from time-intensity curves generated for both HCC and surrounding liver parenchyma. We observed a linear relationship between the CIdB and the concentration in the phantom study and a higher perfusion index in the HCC lesions relative to the surrounding liver parenchyma. Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with perflubutane microbubbles, which exhibit linear and temporally stable characteristics under continuous ultrasound exposure, allows the collection of quantitative hemodynamic information regarding HCC.
Abstract: Improving the availability of high quality diagnostic tests for infectious diseases is a global priority. Lack of access by people living in low income countries may deprive them of life saving treatment and reduces opportunities to prevent onward transmission and spread of the disease. Diagnostic laboratories are often poorly resourced in developing countries, and sparsely distributed. Improved access may be achieved by using tests that do not require laboratory support, including rapid tests for use at the point-of-care. Despite increased interest, few new in vitro diagnostic (IVD) products reach the majority populations in low income countries. Barriers to uptake include cost and lack of robustness, with reduced test performances due to environmental pressures such as high ambient temperatures or dust. In addition to environmental factors test developers must consider the local epidemiology. Confounding conditions such as immunosuppression or variations in antigen presentation or genotype can affect test performance. Barriers to product development include access to finance to establish manufacturing capacity and cover the costs of market entry for new devices. Costs and delays may be inflated by current regulatory preregistration processes to ensure product safety and quality, and more harmonized approaches are needed.
Abstract: Positron emission tomography (PET) using the radiopharmaceutical tracer fluorine-18 fluorocholine (FCh) can elucidate tumors based on differences in choline phospholipid metabolism between tumor and surrounding tissue. The feasibility of detecting hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using FCh PET has been shown despite constitutively high parenchymal choline metabolism in the liver. Since HCC frequently develops in the setting of chronic liver disease, we comparatively evaluated FCh PET/CT between cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients with HCC to investigate the effects of hepatic dysfunction on tumor detection and the tumor-to-background ratio (TBR) of FCh uptake. FCh PET/CT was performed prospectively in 22 consecutive patients with HCC (7 newly diagnosed, 15 previously treated). Of these 22 patients, 14 were cirrhotic and 8 non-cirrhotic. Standardized uptake value (SUV) measurements were obtained by region of interest analysis of the PET images. Tumor FCh uptake and the TBR were compared between cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients. Liver lesions were confirmed to be HCC by biopsy in 10 patients and by Barcelona criteria in 4 patients. There was correspondingly increased liver tumor FCh uptake in 13/14 of those patients, and iso-intense tumor FCh uptake (TBR 0.94) in one non-cirrhotic patient with newly diagnosed HCC. FCh PET/CT also showed metastatic disease without local tumor recurrence in 2 previously treated patients, and was negative in 6 treated patients without tumor recurrence by radiographic and clinical follow-up. Tumor maximum SUV ranged from 6.4 to 15.3 (mean 12.1) and liver TBR ranged from 0.94 to 2.1 (mean 1.6), with no significant differences between cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients (SUVmax 11.9 vs. 12.2, p = 0.83; TBR 1.71 vs. 1.51, p = 0.29). Liver parenchyma mean SUV was significantly lower in cirrhotic patients (6.4 vs. 8.7, p < 0.05). This pilot study supports the general feasibility of HCC detection by FCh PET/CT. However, a broad range of tumor FCh uptake was observed, and lower liver parenchymal uptake of FCh was noted in cirrhotic patients as compared to non-cirrhotic patients. Incorporating tissue profiling into future liver imaging trials of FCh PET may help determine the molecular basis of the observed variations in tumor and hepatic FCh uptake.
Abstract: Biological fluid collection to identify and analyze different disease markers is a routine and normal procedure in health care settings. Body fluids are as varied as urine, blood, mucus, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), tears, semen, etc. The volumes of the collected fluids range from micro liters (e.g., tears, CSF) to tens and hundreds of milliliters (blood, urine, etc.). In some manifestations, a disease marker (particularly protein markers) can occur in trace amounts, yet the fluids collected are in large volumes. To identify these trace markers, cumbersome methods, expensive instruments, and trained personnel are required. We developed an easy method to rapidly capture, concentrate, and identify protein markers in large volumes of test fluids. This method involves the utilization of two antibodies recognizing two different epitopes of the protein biomarker. Antibody-1 helps to capture and concentrate the biomarker and Antibody-2 adsorbed or conjugated to nanogold beads will detect the biomarker. This method was validated in capturing and detecting lipocalin type prostaglandin-D2 synthase, a marker in urine that implicates diabetic nephropathy. A one-step collection, concentration, and detection device was designed based on this method. This device can replace many of the normal body fluid collection devices such as tubes and containers. A one-step fluid collection and biomarker capture and concentration device for rapid diagnosis of diseases has tremendous advantage in terms of cost and providing timely results.
Abstract: To date, empirical literature has generally been considered lacking in relation to neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs), the highly malignant subgroup of neuroendocrine neoplasms. NECs are often found in the lungs or the gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) system and can be of small or large cell type. Concentrating on GEP-NECs, we can conclude that survival times are poor, with a median of only 4–16 months depending on disease stage and primary site. Further, this aggressive disease appears to be on the rise, with incidence numbers increasing while survival times are stagnant. Treatment strategies concerning surgery are often undecided and second-line chemotherapy is not yet established. After an analysis of over 2600 articles, we can conclude that there is indeed more empirical literature concerning GEP-NECs available than previously assumed. This unique review is based on 333 selected articles and contains detailed information concerning all aspects of GEP-NECs. Namely, the classification, histology, genetic abnormalities, epidemiology, origin, biochemistry, imaging, treatment and survival of GEP-NECs are described. Also, organ-specific summaries with more detail in relation to disease presentation, diagnosis, treatment and survival are presented. Finally, key points are discussed with directions for future research priorities.
Abstract: Dementia diagnosis is important for many different reasons. Firstly, to separate dementia, or major neurocognitive disorder, from MCI (mild cognitive impairment), mild neurocognitive disorder. Secondly, to define the specific underlying brain disorder to aid treatment, prognosis and decisions regarding care needs and assistance. The diagnostic method of dementias is a puzzle of different data pieces to be fitted together in the best possible way to reach a clinical diagnosis. Using a modified case methodology concept, risk factors affecting cognitive reserve and symptoms constituting the basis of the brain damage hypothesis, can be visualized, balanced and reflected against test results as well as structural and biochemical markers. The model’s origin is the case method initially described in Harvard business school, here modified to serve dementia diagnostics.