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    15 March 2005

    Could a computer report rheumatology clinic films, please?

    We radiologists just love reporting rheumatology clinic films, meticulously comparing one hand with another to see if there are new erosions..... yeah sure.

    Now that radiographers are reporting skeletal films, perhaps they might like to expand their role to include the rheumatology clinics. And when they get bored, perhaps this product will be ready for use:

    Computer aided diagnosis (CAD) in rheumatoid arthritis
    P. Peloschek, G. Langs, F. Kainberger, H. Bischof, W.G. Kropatsch, H. Imhof ECR 2005

    13 March 2005

    Digital Bone Age Atlas

    Our departmental copy of the Greulich and Pyle atlas always seems to go missing, and I had been wondering if a digital version was available. Perhaps someone, somewhere might have scanned it and saved it as a pdf (probably highly illegal).

    Then I saw this pocket-sized paperback at the ECR.

    Hand Bone Age A Digital Atlas of Skeletal Maturity
    V Gilsanz and O Ratib
    Springer 2005. Approx 110 pp. 90 illus. With CD-ROM formatted for PC, PDA version for PALM and Pocket PC. Softcover $79.95 ISBN 3-540-20951-4
    "This atlas integrates the key morphological features of ossification in the bones of the hand and wrist and provides idealized, sex- and age-specific images of skeletal development. This computer-generated set of images should serve as a reasonable alternative to the reference books currently available".

    It is pretty cheap, as far as illustrated medical books go, looks easier to use than the G&P atlas (less text), and I can't see any reason why we shouldn't use it. It does not seem to have appeared on the Sprnger website yet, but a Google search brought out an abstract on this project presented by the authors at RSNA 2003.

    Viennese film bags

    A selection of film bags from Viennese clinics. Click on thumbnails for larger images.

    9 March 2005

    Radiographers reporting CT colonography?

    In a multicentre European trial, after training with 50 cases, non-experts were pretty good compared to experts at polyp measurement and size categorisation on CT colonography.

    The non-experts, who had been trained on 50 cases, were radiologists and radiographers. The performance of non-expert radiologists and radiographers was about the same .

    ECR 3/7/2005, B-696 Polyp measurement and size categorisation by CT colonography: Agreement with colonoscopy and effect of observer experience
    D. Burling, &. ESGAR CT colonography study GROUP investigators; St. Mark's Hospital, London/GB

    Here is the abstract

    In Britain, we have radiographers trained to perform and report barium enemas, which they do to a high standard. Barium enemas will be obsolete in a few years' time.


    8 March 2005

    Spinzoo: Animations of MRI spins

    Do you find the drawings of MR spins hard to figure out? Have a look at these animations.

    Some people believe that spins are just a quantum mechanical property of nuclei. However, spins are very small but lovely animals. And they like magnetic fields.We have collected some spins that used to live in our MR scanner, and we put them into our spin zoo.During the spin zoo tour you can see different aspects of the spin life, and how they react on MR sequences.
    MR-Physik , Departement Medizinische RadiologieUniversitätsspital / Universität Basel

    5 March 2005

    ECR exhibit: CPU vs GPU for workstation graphics processing (????)

    3mensio is a workstation company founded by Frank Wessels, who is one of the co-founders of Applicare (who originally made RadWorks, which we still use for teleradiology to our neurosurgery centre).

    According to what he told me, current 3D workstations (Vitrea, Voxar, Leonardo, etc) utilise the computer's central processing unit, or CPU (e.g. Pentium Processor) for graphics processing. The 3mensio workstation, 3viseon (sic), utilises the graphics processing unit, or GPU, which I understand to be the graphics card. These need to be cheap because they are made for kids to play games with, so that the computer used for the workstation can also be very cheap (about $1000) . It then becomes feasible for orthopaedic and vascular surgeons to have a 3D workstations in their offices (and radiologists too, of course).

    You read the abstract from the ECR presentation here

    I really am not in a position to assess the technical side of things, but I had a play with the workstation, running on a standard PC with about 1G of RAM, and it was pretty good, and fast.

    It makes you wonder
    (a) why the other manufacturers have not adopted the same approach, if it is feasible
    (b) why Nintendo have not diversified into the medical imaging sector

    Worth keeping an eye on, I think.

    4 March 2005

    Cerefy Brain Atlas

    Something else I came across at the ECR. I just picked up a leaflet, as there was nobody around at the time to explain the product.

    If I have understood correctly, it is an electronic brain atlas that allows you to place anatomical labels on your CT or MRI scans automatically.

    Here's an article about it I found via Google.

    Some of the products are free and can be downloaded from the website .

    I'l have to try it out when I get back.

    Barium enemas are on the way out...

    It was only about 6 years ago at the Leeds GI Radiology course, that I attended a lecture by Frans-Thomas Fork, who is professor of radiology and endoscopy at Malmö, where he showed how you could pick up small polyps and other subtle lesions on barium enemas by a combination of good technique and attention to detail. It was pretty impressive stuff from a guy who was clearly very good.

    Today (Friday) at the ECR, in a lecture on imaging rectal cancer, he said that the barium enema should probably be discarded... It's just not sensitive enough for polyp detection compared to endoscopy or CT colonography.

    It probably has another five or ten years left, before being completely superseded by CT colonography (or even MR, who knows?).

    Something for the barium radiographers to consider. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    3 March 2005

    Off to the ECR

    I'm leaving for Vienna tonight, for the European Congress of Radiology.

    I'll be staying with my friend Danielle, who tells me that Vienna is colder than usual, with the wind chill factor making the effective temperature about -15 degrees Celsius. Recent weather forecasts seem a bit more optimistic (but still sub zero). I'm reminded about a story I heard about new arrivals in Siberia being supplied with mink underwear.