Items in AFP with MESH term: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
ABSTRACT: Cervical radiculopathy is a disease process marked by nerve compression from herniated disk material or arthritic bone spurs. This impingement typically produces neck and radiating arm pain or numbness, sensory deficits, or motor dysfunction in the neck and upper extremities. Magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomographic myelography can confirm neurologic compression. The overall prognosis of persons with cervical radiculopathy is favorable. Most patients improve over time with a focused, nonoperative treatment course. There is little high-quality evidence on the best nonoperative therapy for cervical radiculopathy. Cervical collars may be used for a short period of immobilization, and traction may temporarily decompress nerve impingement. Medications may help alleviate pain and neuropathic symptoms. Physical therapy and manipulation may improve neck discomfort, and selective nerve blocks target nerve root pain. Although the effectiveness of individual treatments is controversial, a multimodal approach may benefit patients with cervical radiculopathy and associated neck pain.
ABSTRACT: The increasing use of cross-sectional imaging has led to an increase in the incidental discovery of adrenal masses (adrenal incidentalomas). Although most of these lesions are benign, they often present a diagnostic dilemma. Before creating a management plan, the physician should determine if the lesion is benign or malignant and if the lesion is functioning or nonfunctioning. Incidentally discovered adrenal masses usually are benign adenomas; however, myelolipomas, cysts, hemorrhage, pheochromocytomas, metastases, and adrenocortical carcinomas are also possible. Unenhanced computed tomography and chemical shift magnetic resonance imaging can characterize most adenomas because the lesions have high lipid content. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography can further characterize the adenomas because of the washout characteristics with iodinated intravenous contrast media. Fluorodeoxyglucose– positron emission tomography can be helpful in characterizing some lesions, and biopsy is rarely required. This article summarizes the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria for the use of imaging modalities and biopsy to characterize incidentally discovered adrenal masses.
ABSTRACT: For many years, there were no guidelines for evaluating patients with chronic neck pain. However, in the past 15 years, considerable research has led to recommendations regarding whiplash-associated disorders. This article summarizes the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria for chronic neck pain. Imaging plays an important role in evaluating patients with chronic neck pain. Five radiographic views (anteroposterior, lateral, open-mouth, and both oblique views) are recommended for all patients with chronic neck pain with or without a history of trauma. Magnetic resonance imaging should be performed in patients with chronic neurologic signs or symptoms, regardless of radiographic findings. The role of magnetic resonance imaging in evaluating ligamentous and membranous abnormalities in persons with whiplash-associated disorders is controversial. If there is a contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography myelography is recommended. Patients with normal radiographic findings and no neurologic signs or symptoms, or patients with radiographic evidence of spondylosis and no neurologic findings, need no further imaging studies.
ABSTRACT: There are an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repairs in the United States each year. Most ACL tears occur from noncontact injuries. Women experience ACL tears up to nine times more often than men. Evaluation of the ACL should be performed immediately after an injury if possible, but is often limited by swelling and pain. When performed properly, a complete knee examination is more than 80 percent sensitive for an ACL injury. The Lachman test is the most accurate test for detecting an ACL tear. Magnetic resonance imaging is the primary study used to diagnose ACL injury in the United States. It can also identify concomitant meniscal injury, collateral ligament tear, and bone contusions. Treatment consists of conservative management or surgical intervention, with the latter being the better option for patients who want to return to a high level of activity. Patients who undergo surgery must commit to appropriate rehabilitation for the best outcome. Long-term sequelae of ACL injury include knee osteoarthritis in up to 90 percent of patients. Primary prevention of ACL injury includes specific proprioceptive and neuromuscular training exercises to improve knee stability.
ABSTRACT: The differential diagnosis of left lower-quadrant pain includes gastrointestinal, gynecologic, and renal/ureteric pathology. Imaging is helpful in evaluating left lower-quadrant pain, and is generally guided by the clinical presentation. Acute sigmoid diverticulitis should be suspected when the clinical triad of left lower-quadrant pain, fever, and leukocytosis is present. The severity of disease varies from mild pericolonic and peridiverticular inflammation to severe inflammatory changes with complications such as perforation, peritonitis, or abscess or fistula formation. Computed tomography is the preferred test in evaluating clinically suspected diverticulitis. It is used to evaluate the severity and extent of disease and to identify complications, but it also may diagnose other causes of left lower-quadrant pain that can mimic diverticulitis. Magnetic resonance imaging can be used to assess left lower-quadrant pain. It has superior resolution of soft tissues and does not expose the patient to ionizing radiation, but it is expensive and requires more time to perform. Transabdominal ultrasonography with graded compression is another effective technique but is limited by its high operator dependency and technical difficulties in scanning patients who are obese. Pelvic ultrasonography is the preferred imaging modality in women of childbearing age. Radiography with contrast enema is less sensitive than computed tomography in diagnosing diverticulitis and is seldom used.
ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is one of the most common forms of dementia in persons younger than 65 years. Variants include behavioral variant FTD, semantic dementia, and progressive nonfluent aphasia. Behavioral and language manifestations are core features of FTD, and patients have relatively preserved memory, which differs from Alzheimer disease. Common behavioral features include loss of insight, social inappropriateness, and emotional blunting. Common language features are loss of comprehension and object knowledge (semantic dementia), and nonfluent and hesitant speech (progressive nonfluent aphasia). Neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging) usually demonstrates focal atrophy in addition to excluding other etiologies. A careful history and physical examination, and judicious use of magnetic resonance imaging, can help distinguish FTD from other common forms of dementia, including Alzheimer disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and vascular dementia. Although no cure for FTD exists, symptom manage- ment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antipsychotics, and galantamine has been shown to be beneficial. Primary care physicians have a critical role in identifying patients with FTD and assembling an interdisciplinary team to care for patients with FTD, their families, and caregivers.
Management of Seizures and Epilepsy - Article
ABSTRACT: While the evaluation and treatment of patients with seizures or epilepsy is often challenging, modern therapy provides many patients with complete seizure control. After a first seizure, evaluation should focus on excluding an underlying neurologic or medical condition, assessing the relative risk of seizure recurrence and determining whether treatment is indicated. Successful management of patients with recurrent seizures begins with the establishment of an accurate diagnosis of epilepsy syndrome followed by treatment using an appropriate medication in a manner that optimizes efficacy. The goal of therapy is to completely control seizures without producing unacceptable medication side effects. Patients who do not achieve complete seizure control should be referred to an epilepsy specialist, since new medications and surgical treatments offer patients unprecedented options in seizure control.
American Heart Association Issues Guidelines on Imaging in Transient Ischemic Attacks and Stroke - Special Medical Reports
Senile Dementia of the Binswanger's Type - Article
ABSTRACT: Senile dementia of the Binswanger's type is a term used to describe a dementia syndrome characterized by onset in the sixth or seventh decade of life, subcortical neurologic deficits, psychiatric disorders and evidence of hypertension or systemic vascular disease. The status of senile dementia of the Binswanger's type as a distinct entity is a matter of some controversy. The array of neuroimaging abnormalities and clinical findings attributed to this condition overlap with a number of other neuropathologies. Leukoaraiosis, or attenuation of subcortical white matter, seen on computed tomographic scans or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, is a hallmark of senile dementia of the Binswanger's type. The clinical findings associated with Binswanger's disease are varied but typically include a progressive dementia, depression and "subcortical" dysfunction such as gait abnormalities, rigidity and neurogenic bladder. Treatment is largely supportive and includes a discussion about advanced directives, social support and antidepressant therapy. Control of hypertension and aspirin prophylaxis may help prevent further progression of white matter disease.
ABSTRACT: Degeneration of the intervertebral disc from a combination of factors can result in herniation, particularly at the L4-5 and L5-S1 levels. The presence of pain, radiculopathy and other symptoms depends on the site and degree of herniation. A detailed history and careful physical examination, supplemented if necessary by magnetic resonance imaging, can differentiate a herniated lumbar disc from low back strain and other possible causes of similar symptoms. Most patients recover within four weeks of symptom onset. Many treatment modalities have been suggested for lumbar disc herniation, but studies often provide conflicting results. Initial screening for serious pathology and monitoring for the development of significant complications (such as neurologic defects, cauda equina syndrome or refractory pain) are essential in the management of lumbar disc herniation.