News from the 97th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago

CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Self-Referral Leads to More Negative Exams for Patients
"Self-referral," whereby a non-radiologist physician orders imaging exams and directs patients to imaging services in which that physician has a financial interest, is a significant driver of healthcare costs. But a new study from Duke University Medical Center found that self-referral also subjects patients to potentially unnecessary imaging exams. The researchers reviewed 500 consecutive diagnostic lumbar spine MRI exams ordered by two orthopedic physician groups serving the same community. The results showed that physicians with financial interest in the equipment had a much higher rate of negative lumbar spine MRIs. In addition, they were much more likely to order MRI exams on younger patients.

Heart Attack Risk Differs Between Men and Women
A new study from the Medical University of South Carolina found that women with extensive coronary artery plaque are at greater risk than men for a heart attack or other major cardiac event. The researchers used coronary CT angiography to measure plaque build-up in the arteries of 480 patients and correlated the findings with the number of major cardiac events that occurred among the patients during a follow-up period of 12.8 months. The analysis tested all plaques combined (calcified, non-calcified and mixed) and each individual plaque type separately. While women fared significantly worse in the combined test, the individual analysis showed that the risk for major cardiac events was greater in men, compared to women, when their artery segments contained non-calcified plaque.

Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men
A study from Indiana University School of Medicine has found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in brain function. For the study, 22 healthy adult males, age 18 to 29, with low past exposure to violent video games were randomly assigned to two groups. Members of the first group were instructed to play a shooting video game for 10 hours at home for one week and refrain from playing the following week. The second group did not play at all. After one week, the video game group members showed changes in the brain regions associated with controlling emotions and aggressive behavior.

Eating Fish Reduces Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have found that eating baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis may improve brain health and reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease. For the study, 260 cognitively normal individuals were selected from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Each patient underwent 3-D volumetric MRI of the brain. The results showed that eating baked or broiled fish at least once per week was associated with increased gray matter volume and higher levels of working memory. Weekly fish consumption also reduced the risk for five-year decline to MCI or Alzheimer's by almost five-fold. Eating fried fish was not shown to protect against cognitive decline.



SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)