Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
Ampronix
ElsMed
Schiller

US Army Hospital Physicians Create Way to Detect Stress Fractures Faster

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 03 Mar 2013
Image: Sgt. Christopher Funke, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Nuclear Medicine at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, injects Pfc. Sara Reagers, C Company, 84th Chemical Battalion, with a radiopharmaceutical agent (Photo courtesy of John Brooks).
Image: Sgt. Christopher Funke, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Nuclear Medicine at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, injects Pfc. Sara Reagers, C Company, 84th Chemical Battalion, with a radiopharmaceutical agent (Photo courtesy of John Brooks).
Image: Three to four hours later after the substance has worked its way through the body, the single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system can detect the low-level radiation absorbed by stress-injured bone (Photo courtesy of John Brooks).
Image: Three to four hours later after the substance has worked its way through the body, the single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system can detect the low-level radiation absorbed by stress-injured bone (Photo courtesy of John Brooks).
Image: Evaluating the scan (Photo courtesy of John Brooks).
Image: Evaluating the scan (Photo courtesy of John Brooks).
A new imaging protocol developed by the US Army radiologists can now find stress fractures in soldiers much earlier than traditional X-rays.

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is typically used for nonmusculoskeletal imaging studies, such as cardiac, parathyroid, and adrenal gland imaging. But this ground breaking use of SPECT imaging, in conjunction with a low-dose computed tomography scan, allows General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (GLWACH; Lenard Wood, MO, USA) radiologists to optimally rank stress injuries for severity.

With this information, providers return about two thirds more Soldiers back to training after rehabilitation, long before injuries would normally progress to career-ending injuries and incurring large training losses. “SPECT-CT fusion forms a more anatomically-precise image to allow radiologists to pinpoint the exact location of a stress change,” explained Maj. Mustafa Ali-Khan, GLWACH radiology chief. “SPECT-CT is typically not employed in the manner it is here at Fort Leonard Wood. The use of SPECT fusion imaging, although not unique to Army medicine, is unique to its application in its dedicated capacity in musculoskeletal imaging at a Training and Doctrine Command facility, in the manner employed here at Fort Leonard Wood.”

This innovative imaging process was developed in 2010 by the GLWACH radiology department as the result of needs identified through the combined effort of GLWACH staff members in the Musculoskeletal Athletic Team, Orthopedics, Podiatry, and Combined Troop Medical Clinic. “After looking at our training population and our basic training missions, we realized that we could use this technology to our advantage,” Maj. Ali-Khan said.

The technology worked effectively and the numbers are incredible, according to Maj. Ali-Khan. GLWACH’s radiology department used their SPECT-CT fusion imaging technique about 300 times in 2011. “We expect to top 500 studies this year,” Maj. Ali-Khan said.

Typically, injured soldiers in training are given an X-ray and sent back to continue training if an injury is not visible. Missed stress injuries then progress and are discovered at a later date as a more serious insufficiency fracture, or stress fracture. “We have seen a dramatic increase in identification of early stress injuries here at GLWACH, which has led to better outcomes for our Soldier population and less patients who have progressed to more advanced stress injuries and [Medical Evaluation Board] cases,” Maj. Ali-Khan said. “Fewer patients end up with serious stress fractures due to the early intervention. SPECT-CT fusion imaging has worked well in the training environment to mitigate the overall number of bad outcomes with respect to evolving stress injuries. We have every reason to believe that other installations with SPECT equipment, as well as other branches of the military with high training populations subject to bone stress injuries could use our SPECT-CT fusion imaging protocol with a high success rate as well.”

Dr. Ali-Khan reported that the GLWACH medical department activity is fortunate to have this technology, which is typically only available at the Medical Center level at facilities such as Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (WA, USA), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD, USA), or Brooke Army Medical Center (San Antonio, TX, USA). “We all feel great to be a part of something so big at such a comparatively small facility,” he said.

It is hard to determine how many training losses will be prevented at GLWACH with SPECT-CT fusion imaging this year, according to Dr. Ali-Khan said. “But we can determine how many stress injuries the technology allows radiologists to catch, and then treat early,” he concluded.

Related Links:

General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital



Channels

Radiography

view channel

New Data Shows Most Patients Can Safely Undergo Contrast-Enhanced CT Scanning

According to new research, iodine-based contrast material injected intravenously (IV) to enhance computed tomography (CT) imaging can be safely used in most patients. The study’s findings were published online September 9, 2014, in the journal Radiology. Of the 80 million or more CT scans performed each year in the... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel

PET Imaging Reveals Brain Benefits from Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery

Imaging studies revealed that weight loss surgery has been found to suppress changes in brain metabolism associated with obesity and improve cognitive function involved in planning, strategizing, and organizing. Therefore, researchers have hypothesized that a specific surgical procedure could reduce risk of Alzheimer’s... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: From left, Guy Genin, PhD, John Boyle and Stavros Thomopoulos, PhD, watch as a sample is exposed to stress and force. They have developed algorithms that may lead to the ability to identify weak spots in tendons, muscles and bones (Photo courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis).

Image Analysis Algorithms Devised to Find Weak Spots in Muscles, Tendons, and Bones prone to Tearing, Breaking

Researchers have developed algorithms to detect weak spots in muscles, tendons, and bones predisposed to tearing or breaking. The technology, which needs to be further refined before it is used in patients,... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel

Interactive Dashboard and Visualization Tool Designed for Oncologists

A new tool has been developed to help users of an information system for radiation oncology to analyze data and use metrics to help make more informed decisions. Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto CA, USA), a developer of cancer treatment technology and informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, will... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Global Partnership Provides Treatment Planning Support for Modulated Arc Radiotherapy

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA, USA) Eclipse treatment planning software can now be used to plan modulated arc radiotherapy (mARC) treatments at sites using Siemens Healthcare (Erlangen, Germany) medical linear accelerators. Varian Medical Systems and Siemens Healthcare presented their range of solutions that... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.