A Year in Review: 2013’s Top Radiology News

POSTED ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 03, 2014 AT 1:35 PM  by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

From the rollout of the health insurance marketplace on Healthcare.gov and the decision of the FDA to begin phasing out trans fats, to the first guidelines for preventing heart attacks and strokes being issued by the American Health Association and the American College of Cardiology, 2013 offered no shortage of health related headlines.

The following are your top radiology news of the past year:

A Major Step towards Earlier Diagnosis of Lung Cancer:

In July of this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced their landmark decision of issuing a draft recommendation in favor of the annual lung cancer screening of heavy smokers by low dose CT scan, a major shift in policy that experts say has the potential to save 20,000 lives a year. The USPSTF chair, Dr. Virginia Moyer, noted that almost 90% of those who are diagnosed with Lung Cancer die from the disease because it isn't detected until it has reached an advanced stage. The 2011 National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) found a 20% mortality benefit in patients that were screened utilizing low dose CT.

The theme of the second annual International Day of Radiology, observed November 8, 2013, was that of lung imaging and the progress that has been made in the field of radiology in diagnosing lung disease.

In 2013, CT lung cancer screening was recommended for those that met the following criteria:

  • Current or former smokers aged 55 to 74 years
  • A smoking history of at least 30 pack-years
  • No history of lung cancer

Double Mastectomy brought Breast Cancer Awareness:

Angelina Jolie brought breast cancer awareness to a whole new level in 2013 choosing to undergo a preventive double mastectomy after learning that she carries the BRCA1 gene, a genetic mutation that is known to raise the risk of developing breast cancer. Jolie wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled “My Medical Choice” that shed insight on the motivations behind her personal decision.

Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s Findings:

The benefit from early PET scanning was confirmed by a study that had its interim results presented in Sept. 2013 at the Medical Biotech Forum in China. The study confirmed that patients with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who are diagnosed early with PET scans receive medication earlier and, thus, have improved clinical results. Both amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are clearly visible by microscopy in brains of those afflicted by AD. The ability to detect amyloid during life, as opposed to during autopsy postmortem, is a breakthrough in establishing early and accurate diagnosis of AD. Through research and diagnostic imaging, it is now possible to detect beta-amyloid in the human brain during life using Amyvid and positron emission tomography (PET). Amyvid, the first FDA-approved diagnostic imaging agent for estimating amyloid plaque density, was approved by the European Commission in January 2013.

CT Virtual Colonoscopy Makes Strides:

CT Colonography, or Virtual Colonoscopy, was deemed a safe and effective screening tool for routine colorectal cancer screening. As reported by AuntMinnie.com, in 2013 virtual colonoscopy researchers presented the U.S. government with all of the evidence it had asked for, and as a result they've concluded the time is now for approval of this screening tool for colorectal cancer, according to an article published in the July American Journal of Roentgenology. This means that in the near future, the screening exam may be covered by insurance in cases other than following a failed traditional colonoscopy.

The end of the year is a time for reflecting on the past year’s landmark moments while planning for the next year’s growth. One of the most stimulating aspects of the healthcare industry is the constant progression of techniques and studies that work to make even speedier, accurate diagnosis possible for an array of diseases, allowing patients to choose more effective treatments. Most often when a disease is found in its earliest stage the treatment options and survival rates are far greater than when the disease goes undetected.

To schedule your screening or diagnostic radiology exam in New York City today, please contact our courteous personnel at 212-888-1000, email scheduling@parkavenueradiologists.com, or schedule online.


Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year,


From the Doctors and Staff of Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C.


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