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Editor's e-Note
There was a good bit of CT news this summer, so this month’s newsletter highlights some notable developments. Although the jury is still out on whether CT is a useful diagnostic tool for COVID-19, a recent study from France indicates that CT combined with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing may offer better results than either test alone. When it comes to discerning COVID-19 pneumonia from influenza virus pneumonia, however, the results are not as clear cut. There’s also evidence that broader access to low-dose CT lung cancer screening can save lives. Finally, researchers in Denmark have demonstrated that “opportunistic” cardiac CT scans can do double duty as bone density tests without increasing scan time, radiation dose, or cost.

Do you have any interesting CT news to share? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Stay safe.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Large Study Finds CT With RT-PCR Effective in Diagnosing COVID-19

In a large study recently published in Radiology, researchers in France found that chest CT in combination with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing was effective as a diagnostic tool to assess COVID-19.

Key points of the study include the following:

• In a national survey of 26 hospitals (4,824 patients), chest CT sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing COVID-19 pneumonia were 90% and 91%, respectively.

• In 103 patients with an initial positive chest CT finding(s) for COVID-19 and a negative initial RT-PCR test, a repeat RT-PCR was positive in 90% (93/103).

• In patients with both negative chest CT and RT-PCR, the negative predictive value regarding final discharge diagnosis for COVID-19 was 99% (2,035/2,050 patients).

RT-PCR is the standard method for diagnosing CT. However, the test carries a wait time and a risk of false-negative results.

Full story »
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In This e-Newsletter
Other Imaging News
Walmart Announces Multistate Expansion of Health Clinics
Walmart recently announced a large-scale expansion of its onsite medical care network, which offers, among other services, budget-conscious, flat-fee imaging. By the end of 2021, the retail giant plans to be operating a total of 22 clinics, according to the company.

fMRI Detects Facial Recognition Capacities in People With Blindness
According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT researchers, using functional MRI, have made a surprising discovery about the fusiform face area, a region of the brain associated with facial recognition: Responses to stimuli are consistent, even among participants who were blind since birth.

CT Lends Insight Into Breathing Habits of Prehistoric Amphibian
CT scans have helped paleobiologists at West Virginia University determine that a fossilized 340 million-year-old sea scorpion, Adelophthalmus pyrrhae, was capable of breathing air for extended periods out of the water, according to findings recently published in Current Biology.

UK Government Invests Heavily in AI-Based Digital Pathology, Imaging
The United Kingdom has scaled up efforts to refine AI-driven diagnosis and pathology, to the tune of $66 million. The National Health Service forecasts the cooperative will change the course of UK cancer detection by 2028, according to a government press release.
Worth Repeating
“There is no leverage when they are the only such service around. If it were a particular medical procedure, we could encourage employees to seek another doctor or hospital even if it was further away. But you can’t encourage anyone to use an ambulance service from 50 miles away.”

— Michael Barnhart, CPA, of Ohio’s Findlay City Schools, regarding surprise billing and the limited options associated with rural ambulance service, as quoted in The Garden City Telegram