Radiologists NYC, Expert Radiology in New York

New Study: PET/CT Provides Higher Sensitivity at a Lower Radiation Dose than SPECT in Cardiac Cases

POSTED ON TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2015 AT 1:28 PM by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

Newly released research indicates that PET/CT is the superior diagnostic choice over SPECT for evaluating myocardial ischemia. At a recent meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Utah researchers presented their findings that PET/CT provided higher sensitivity at a lower radiation dose. When it came to determining if the patients studied were free of cardiac disease, PET/CT proved to be far more accurate than SPECT.

Myocardial ischemia is a heart condition that occurs when the body's oxygen supply is reduced due to a decrease in the blood flowing to the heart. This decrease in blood flow is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the coronary arteries.

According to AuntMinnie.com, "myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with SPECT has long been an important tool in the assessment of heart conditions, but it has disadvantages such as a lack of specificity and relatively high radiation dose. The rise of PET/CT has created the prospect that more accurate MPI scans could be performed at a lower dose."

Park Avenue Radiologists, PC has installed the latest generation multidetector PET/CT System with the highest resolution of PET configuration, to allow for imaging virtually all organ systems, including cardiac PET/CT.

The study was completed by a group of researchers led by Dr. Kent Mereditch at the Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center and consisted of 197 patients in the SPECT group and 200 patients in the PET/CT group. Researchers compared MPI scans completed with a SPECT camera in 2012 to those that underwent a PET/CT scan in 2013.

In the study, researchers found that of the patients that underwent a PET/CT the sensitivity to diagnosing myocardial ischemia was 100% with a positive predictive value of 98.3% and no false positives. For the SPECT, researchers discovered the specificity to be only 30.3% while PET/CT produced 88% specificity. The radiation exposure to patients that underwent a PET/CT procedure was far less than the dose of radiation patients received from the SPECT examination. PET/CT provided a radiation dose of around 2 mSv while SPECT produced an average radiation dose of around 30 mSv.

To contact our team of experts for more information on cardiac PET/CT in NYC, call 212-888-1000 or email information@parkavenueradiologists.com.

For more information of the study's findings, visit the original article published AuntMinnie.com on March 17, 2015.

 

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Lung Plus Head and Neck Cancer Screening Reveals High Rate of Malignancies: CT Scan NYC

POSTED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015 AT 1:46 PM by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

Using CT technology to screen patients for head and neck cancer in addition to lung cancer reveals relatively high instances of tumors, according to a new analysis published online January 5th in Cancer. The analysis suggests that it may be useful to add head and neck screening to the lung cancer screening of patients that meet the criteria for a CT lung cancer screening. Head and neck cancers are too rare to screen the general population, according to an article published on the topic on AuntMinnie.com, however those who are most at risk for lung cancer also have a higher risk of head and neck cancers.

CT lung cancer screenings are performed at our private NYC radiology facility. The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. If you meet the criteria for a lung cancer screening, speak with your provider today about the benefits and risks for you. 

 

Head and neck cancer is the world’s sixth most common cancer with cigarette smoking being a major risk factor. The analysis’s lead author Ronak Dixit, along with colleagues including Dr. Joel Weissfeld, Dr. David Wilson, and Diergaarde concluded that it may indeed be useful to examine individuals who come in for lung cancer screening for head and neck cancer as well. The study is the first step in evaluating the effectiveness of adding head and neck cancer screening for individuals who qualify for CT lung cancer screening programs. The results give grounds for the potential of a national clinical trial to further investigate this association.

 

The analysis authors noted that survival rates for head and neck cancers have improved little over the past several decades, “thus, there is a strong need to develop strategies that will result in the identification of head and neck cancer at an earlier stage when it can be curatively treated.”

 

To learn more about this study visit, AuntMinnie.com or contact us at info@parkavenueradiologists.com

 

To schedule your radiologic examination today, call 212-888-1000, email scheduling@parkavenueradiologists.com , or schedule online today.

Healthy Resolution: Screening Studies in NYC

POSTED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 15, 2015 AT 11:53 AM by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

At the start of January many of us resolve to better our lives in the upcoming year. These resolutions often involve our health: lose weight, quit smoking, join the gym or take the stairs, for example. Healthy resolutions such as these can improve or protect our overall health. Protecting and maintaining your health in order to prevent disease is known as preventive health. Prevention and early detection give our body the best chance of fighting off destructive disease and can lead to living longer, healthier lives. In addition to resolutions of eating better, exercising, or giving up a harmful habit, this year we encourage you to maintain a good relationship with your healthcare provider.

Make 2015 the year you resolve to visit your doctor for regular check-ups, even if you feel healthy. At a well visit, your physician will screen you for disease, identify risk factors for disease, and discuss tips for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Your doctor will also ensure that you stay up to date with immunizations and boosters. Why is prevention so important? According to the CDC: “Nationally, Americans use preventive services at about half the recommended rate. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of every 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation’s health spending. These chronic diseases can be largely preventable through close partnership with your healthcare team, or can be detected through appropriate screenings, when treatment works best.”

At Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C., we understand the benefit of preventive health. Our team works diligently to ensure your radiologic examination is performed promptly and that the results of your study, which is vigilantly interpreted by our board-certified radiologists, are expedited to your ordering physician. We offer our patients an array of screening studies including:  

This year, take control of your health. Make a well visit.

To schedule your screening examination at our private NYC radiology facility, contact our scheduling personnel today at 212-888-1000 or scheduling@parkavenueradiologists.com.

For added convenience, schedule online.

 

Additional Links:

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Important Heart Health Update for Diabetic Patients: Coronary CT Angiography

POSTED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2014 AT 2:16 PM by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

At the 2014 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Canadian researchers reported that even mild coronary artery disease puts diabetic patients at increased risk of heart attack, according to a long term study of 1,823 people. Prior to this study, diabetic patients that only showed mild, or non-obstructive coronary artery disease were believed to have a lower risk of major cardiac events than patients with obstructive coronary artery disease. This study, using Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA), determined that the relative risk for a major adverse cardiovascular event in diabetic patients with mild coronary artery disease was similar to the risk in patients with single vessel obstructive disease, according to the 2014 RSNA press release covering the topic.

The study co-author Jonathan Leipsic, MD, vice chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of British Columbia stated in the RSNA press release that “cardiac CT angiography is helpful for identifying diabetic patients who are at higher risk for heart events, who may benefit from more aggressive therapy to help modify that risk.”

"Patients identified with mild disease on CT may benefit from more aggressive medical therapy than they are currently receiving," suggested study co-author Dr. Philipp Blanke, a radiologist at the University of British Columbia and St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, according to an article by Edward Susman for AuntMinnie.com published and retrieved on December 3, 2014.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. According to the Mayo clinic, in addition to diabetes, risks for Coronary Artery Disease include:

•Increasing Age.

•Male Sex. However, the risk for women increases after menopause.

•Family history.

•Smoking.

•High blood pressure.

•High blood cholesterol levels.

•Obesity.

•Physical inactivity.

•High stress.

At Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C. we are proud to have the experience as well as the technology to provide our patients high quality noninvasive imaging of the coronary arteries. To schedule your heart examination at our Upper East Side radiology facility, contact our scheduling personnel at your convenience online, via email: scheduling@parkavenueradiologists.com, or 212-888-1000 during normal operating hours.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver analyzed CCTA data from the Coronary CT Angiography Evaluation For Clinical Outcomes: An International Multicenter (CONFIRM) Registry, which currently holds data on 40,000 patients from centers around the world. The registry includes five-year follow-up data on 14,000 patients. Of the patients on the registry,1,823 were diabetic with Austria, Germany, Canada, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Switzerland, and the U.S. all having patients included on the registry.

Diabetic patients with no apparent coronary artery disease present on their CT exam had a significantly better prognosis at their five-year follow-up, Susman’s article details.

For more information on cardiac CT angiography in New York City, contact our knowledgeable representatives at information@parkavenueradiologists.com or 212-888-1000.

 

Promote Your Breast Health This Breast Cancer Awareness Month

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 08, 2014 AT 11:12 AM by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

While remembering the importance of breast health is vital all year round, October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month offers an opportunity to not only recognize the strength of both survivors and those currently battling this disease, but to promote early detection and treatment. Medical advancements and increased awareness have led to a sharp decline in breast cancer deaths. With this said, it is projected that 232,670 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and 40,000 breast cancer patients will succumb to the disease in 2014[1]. Therefore, vigilantly promoting your breast health via education, annual screenings and follow up examinations provides the greatest opportunity for the early diagnosis and treatment that can save lives!

Here at Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C., we offer an array of breast imaging services in NYC including screening and diagnostic mammography, breast MRI, ultrasound, and image guided biopsies. These diagnostic tools are used to successfully find breast cancer in its earliest stages, giving our patients a wider array of more effective treatment options. Raising awareness of the importance of screening and women being diligent about their breast health has contributed to a 34% decrease in death rates from breast cancer in the US since 1990, according to a report from the American Cancer Society.

Support your breast health by speaking with your family practitioner or your OB/GYN about your risk factors, family history and the breast imaging examinations that are best suited to you. Prepare yourself for this conversation with a brief introduction to breast imaging:[2]

What is a mammogram?

 A mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breast that’s used to detect and evaluate breast changes

What’s the difference between a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram?

Screening mammograms are x-ray exam of the breasts that are used for women who have no breast symptoms or signs of breast cancer (like a previous abnormal mammogram). The goal of a screening mammogram is to find breast cancer when it’s too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. Finding breast cancers early (before they have grown and spread) greatly improves a woman’s chance for successful treatment.

A woman with a breast problem (for instance, a lump or nipple discharge) or an abnormal area found in a screening mammogram typically gets a diagnostic mammogram. It’s still an x-ray of the breast, but it’s done for a different reason than a screening mammogram.

During a diagnostic mammogram, more pictures may be taken to carefully study an area of concern. In some cases, special images known as spot views or magnification views are used to make a small area of abnormal breast tissue easier to evaluate. Other types of imaging tests such as ultrasound may also be done in addition to the mammogram, depending on the type of problem and where it is in the breast.

When are other breast imaging tests used?

While mammograms are the most useful tests for screening and finding breast cancer early, other imaging tests may be helpful in some cases.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI scans use magnets and radio waves instead of x-rays to produce very detailed, cross-sectional pictures of the body. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and by certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into a very detailed image of parts of the body. For breast MRI to look for cancer, a contrast liquid (called gadolinium) is injected into a vein before or during the scan to show details better.

Breast MRI is mainly used for 2 purposes:

1.       For women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, to help measure the size of the cancer and look for any other tumors in the breast. It also can be used to look at the opposite breast, to be sure that it doesn’t contain any tumors.

2.       For certain women at high risk for breast cancer, screening MRI is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. MRI is not recommended as a screening tool by itself because it can miss some cancers that a mammogram would detect.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, also known as sonography, uses sound waves to look inside a part of the body. A gel is put on the skin of the breast and a handheld instrument called a transducer is rubbed with gel and pressed against the skin. It emits sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are converted by a computer into a black and white image on a computer screen. This test is painless and does not expose you to radiation.

Breast ultrasound is sometimes used to evaluate breast problems that are found during a screening or diagnostic mammogram or on physical exam. Ultrasound is useful for taking a closer look at some breast masses, and it’s the only way to tell if a mass is a cyst without putting a needle into it to take out (aspirate) fluid. Breast ultrasound may also be used to help doctors guide a biopsy needle into an area of concern in the breast.

Don’t forget to utilize the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s early detection plan to create a breast health plan that fits your busy lifestyle.

At Park Avenue Radiologists, we strive to provide our patients with unparalleled imaging services. Should your physician recommend a breast imaging exam, contact our courteous personnel at 212-888-1000, scheduling@parkavenueradiologists.com, or schedule your exam online. We welcome you to contact our knowledgeable personnel with any questions or concerns regarding your breast imaging needs at info@parkavenueradiologists.com. Stay Connected. Join our discussions with patients on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.



[1] http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics

[2] http://www.cancer.org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/examsandtestdescriptions/mammogramsandotherbreastimagingprocedures/index

 

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