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Differential care-seeking behaviors during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan: a population-based cross-sectional study
BACKGROUND:At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States in the spring of 2020, many Americans avoided the healthcare system, while those with COVID-19 symptoms were faced with decisions about seeking healthcare services for this novel virus. METHODS:Using a probability sample (n = 1088) from the Michigan adult population of PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases who were diagnosed prior to July 31, 2020, we used logistic regression to examine sociodemographic and symptom severity predictors of care-seeking behaviors. The analyses examined three different outcomes: (1) whether respondents sought care and, among those who sought care, whether they sought care from (2) a primary care provider or (3) an emergency room. Final models were adjusted for sex, age, race and ethnicity, income, education, marital status, living arrangement, health insurance, and self-reported symptom severity. RESULTS:We found that participants ages 65 and older had 4.00 times higher odds of seeking care than 18-34-year-olds (95% CI: 2.21, 7.24), while adults reporting very severe symptoms had roughly 15 times higher odds of seeking care than those with mild symptoms (95% CI: 7.73, 27.01). Adults who were non-Hispanic Black or were uninsured had lower odds of seeking care from a primary care physician versus seeking care from other locations in comparison to adults who were non-Hispanic White or were privately insured, respectively (non-Hispanic Black: aOR = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.16, 0.44; Uninsured: aOR = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.09, 0.42). Conversely, adults who were older or reported more severe symptoms had higher odds of seeking care from an emergency room versus other locations in comparison to adults who were younger or reported less severe symptoms (Age 65+: aOR = 2.96, 95% CI: 1.40, 6.28; Very Severe Symptoms: aOR = 6.63, 95% CI: 3.33, 13.20). CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest differential utilization of healthcare services early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Further analyses are needed to examine the reasons for these differences.
Predictors of in-hospital appendiceal perforation in patients with non- perforated acute appendicitis with appendicolithiasis at presentation
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Appendicolithiasis is a risk factor for perforated acute appendicitis. There is limited inpatient data on predictors of progression in appendicolithiasis-associated non-perforated acute appendicitis. METHODS:We identified adults presenting with appendicolithiasis-associated non-perforated acute appendicitis (on computed tomography) who underwent appendectomy. Logistic regression was used to investigate predictors of in-hospital perforation (on histopathology). RESULTS:296 patients with appendicolithiasis-associated non-perforated acute appendicitis were identified; 48 (16.2%) had perforation on histopathology. Mean (standard deviation [SD]) age was 39 (14.9) years. The mean (SD) length of stay (LOS) was 1.5 (1.8) days. LOS was significantly longer with perforated (mean [SD]: 3.0 [3.1] days) vs. non-perforated (mean [SD]: 1.2 [1.2] days) appendicitis (p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, in-hospital perforation was associated with age > 65 years (OR 5.4, 95% CI: 1.4- 22.2; p = 0.015), BMI > 30 kg/m2 (OR 3.5, 95% CI: 1.3-8.9; p = 0.011), hyponatremia (OR 3.6, 95% CI: 1.3-9.8; p = 0.012). There was no significant association with age 25-65 years, gender, race, steroids, time-to- surgery, neutrophil percentage, or leukocyte count. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Geriatric age, obesity, and hyponatremia are associated with progression to perforation in appendicolithiasis-associated non-perforated acute appendicitis.
Autonomous animal heating and cooling system for temperature-regulated magnetic resonance experiments
Temperature is a hallmark parameter influencing almost all magnetic resonance properties (e.g., T1 , T2 , proton density, and diffusion). In the preclinical setting, temperature has a large influence on animal physiology (e.g., respiration rate, heart rate, metabolism, and oxidative stress) and needs to be carefully regulated, especially when the animal is under anesthesia and thermoregulation is disrupted. We present an open-source heating and cooling system capable of regulating the temperature of the animal. The system was designed using Peltier modules capable of heating or cooling a circulating water bath with active temperature feedback. Feedback was obtained using a commercial thermistor, placed in the animal rectum, and a proportional-integral-derivative controller was used to modulate the temperature. Its operation was demonstrated in a phantom as well as in mouse and rat animal models, where the standard deviation of the temperature of the animal upon convergence was less than a 10th of a degree. An application where brain temperature of a mouse was modulated was demonstrated using an invasive optical probe and noninvasive magnetic resonance spectroscopic thermometry measurements.
Amyloid PET across the cognitive spectrum in former professional and college American football players: findings from the DIAGNOSE CTE Research Project
BACKGROUND:Exposure to repetitive head impacts (RHI) in American football players can lead to cognitive impairment and dementia due to neurodegenerative disease, particularly chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The pathognomonic lesion of CTE consists of perivascular aggregates of hyper-phosphorylated tau in neurons at the depths of cortical sulci. However, it is unclear whether exposure to RHI accelerates amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque formation and increases the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although the Aβ neuritic plaques characteristic of AD are observed in a minority of later-stage CTE cases, diffuse plaques are more common. This study examined whether former professional and college American football players, including those with cognitive impairment and dementia, have elevated neuritic Aβ plaque density, as measured by florbetapir PET. Regardless of cognitive and functional status, elevated levels of florbetapir uptake were not expected. METHODS:We examined 237 men ages 45-74, including 119 former professional (PRO) and 60 former college (COL) football players, with and without cognitive impairment and dementia, and 58 same-age men without a history of contact sports or TBI (unexposed; UE) and who denied cognitive or behavioral symptoms at telephone screening. Former players were categorized into four diagnostic groups: normal cognition, subjective memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia. Positive florbetapir PET was defined by cortical-cerebellar average SUVR of ≥ 1.10. Multivariable linear regression and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) compared florbetapir average SUVR across diagnostic and exposure groups. Multivariable logistic regression compared florbetapir positivity. Race, education, age, and APOE4 were covariates. RESULTS:There were no diagnostic group differences either in florbetapir average SUVR or the proportion of elevated florbetapir uptake. Average SUVR means also did not differ between exposure groups: PRO-COL (p = 0.94, 95% C.I. = [- 0.033, 0.025]), PRO-UE (p = 0.40, 95% C.I. = [- 0.010, 0.029]), COL-UE (p = 0.36, 95% CI = [0.0004, 0.039]). Florbetapir was not significantly associated with years of football exposure, cognition, or daily functioning. CONCLUSIONS:Cognitive impairment in former American football players is not associated with PET imaging of neuritic Aβ plaque deposition. These findings are inconsistent with a neuropathological diagnosis of AD in individuals with substantial RHI exposure and have both clinical and medico-legal implications. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:NCT02798185.
Feasibility of Accelerated Prostate Diffusion-Weighted Imaging on 0.55 T MRI Enabled With Random Matrix Theory Denoising
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Prostate cancer diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) MRI is typically performed at high-field strength (3.0 T) in order to overcome low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of prostate DWI at low field enabled by random matrix theory (RMT)-based denoising, relying on the MP-PCA algorithm applied during image reconstruction from multiple coils. METHODS:Twenty-one volunteers and 2 prostate cancer patients were imaged with a 6-channel pelvic surface array coil and an 18-channel spine array on a prototype 0.55 T system created by ramping down a commercial magnetic resonance imaging system (1.5 T MAGNETOM Aera Siemens Healthcare) with 45 mT/m gradients and 200 T/m/s slew rate. Diffusion-weighted imagings were acquired with 4 non-collinear directions, for which b = 50 s/mm2 was used with 8 averages and b = 1000 s/mm2 with 40 averages; 2 extra b = 50 s/mm2 were used as part of the dynamic field correction. Standard and RMT-based reconstructions were applied on DWI over different ranges of averages. Accuracy/precision was evaluated using the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and image quality was evaluated over 5 separate reconstructions by 3 radiologists with a 5-point Likert scale. For the 2 patients, we compare image quality and lesion visibility of the RMT reconstruction versus the standard one on 0.55 T and on clinical 3.0 T. RESULTS:The RMT-based reconstruction in this study reduces the noise floor by a factor of 5.8, thereby alleviating the bias on prostate ADC. Moreover, the precision of the ADC in prostate tissue after RMT increases over a range of 30%-130%, with the increase in both signal-to-noise ratio and precision being more prominent for a low number of averages. Raters found that the images were consistently of moderate to good overall quality (3-4 on the Likert scale). Moreover, they determined that b = 1000 s/mm2 images from a 1:55-minute scan with the RMT-based reconstruction were on par with the corresponding images from a 14:20-minute scan with standard reconstruction. Prostate cancer was visible on ADC and calculated b = 1500 images even with the abbreviated 1:55 scan reconstructed with RMT. CONCLUSIONS:Prostate imaging using DWI is feasible at low field and can be performed more rapidly with noninferior image quality compared with standard reconstruction.
Optimizing variable flip angles in magnetization-prepared gradient-echo sequences for efficient 3D-T1ρ mapping
PURPOSE:mapping. METHODS:mapping and evaluate their performance in model agarose phantoms (n = 4) and healthy volunteers (n = 5) for knee joint imaging. We also tested the optimization with sequence parameters targeting faster acquisitions. RESULTS:Our results show that optimized variable flip angle can improve the accuracy and the precision of the sequences, seen as a reduction of the mean of normalized absolute difference from about 5%-6% to 3%-4% in model phantoms and from 15%-16% to 11%-13% in the knee joint, and improving SNR from about 12-28 to 22-32 in agarose phantoms and about 7-14 to 13-17 in healthy volunteers. The optimization can also compensate for the loss in quality caused by making the sequence faster. This results in sequence configurations that acquire more data per unit of time with SNR and mean of normalized absolute difference measurements close to its slower versions. CONCLUSION:mapping of the knee joint.
Low-field MRI: A report on the 2022 ISMRM workshop
In March 2022, the first ISMRM Workshop on Low-Field MRI was held virtually. The goals of this workshop were to discuss recent low field MRI technology including hardware and software developments, novel methodology, new contrast mechanisms, as well as the clinical translation and dissemination of these systems. The virtual Workshop was attended by 368 registrants from 24 countries, and included 34 invited talks, 100 abstract presentations, 2 panel discussions, and 2 live scanner demonstrations. Here, we report on the scientific content of the Workshop and identify the key themes that emerged. The subject matter of the Workshop reflected the ongoing developments of low-field MRI as an accessible imaging modality that may expand the usage of MRI through cost reduction, portability, and ease of installation. Many talks in this Workshop addressed the use of computational power, efficient acquisitions, and contemporary hardware to overcome the SNR limitations associated with low field strength. Participants discussed the selection of appropriate clinical applications that leverage the unique capabilities of low-field MRI within traditional radiology practices, other point-of-care settings, and the broader community. The notion of "image quality" versus "information content" was also discussed, as images from low-field portable systems that are purpose-built for clinical decision-making may not replicate the current standard of clinical imaging. Speakers also described technical challenges and infrastructure challenges related to portability and widespread dissemination, and speculated about future directions for the field to improve the technology and establish clinical value.
Multisite MRI Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Repeatability and Reproducibility across 3 T Scanners in a Breast Diffusion Phantom: A BReast Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Multisite (BRIMM) Study
BACKGROUND:Monoexponential apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and biexponential intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) analysis of diffusion-weighted imaging is helpful in the characterization of breast tumors. However, repeatability/reproducibility studies across scanners and across sites are scarce. PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:)) within and across sites employing MRI scanners from different vendors utilizing 16-channel breast array coils in a breast diffusion phantom. STUDY TYPE/METHODS:Phantom repeatability. PHANTOM/UNASSIGNED:A breast phantom containing tubes of different polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) concentrations, water, fat, and sponge flow chambers, together with an MR-compatible liquid crystal (LC) thermometer. FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE/UNASSIGNED:Bipolar gradient twice-refocused spin echo sequence and monopolar gradient single spin echo sequence at 3 T. ASSESSMENT/RESULTS:Studies were performed twice in each of two scanners, located at different sites, on each of 2 days, resulting in four studies per scanner. ADCs of the PVP and water were normalized to the vendor-provided calibrated values at the temperature indicated by the LC thermometer for repeatability/reproducibility comparisons. STATISTICAL TESTS/METHODS:ADC and IVIM repeatability and reproducibility within and across sites were estimated via the within-system coefficient of variation (wCV). Pearson correlation coefficient (r) was also computed between IVIM metrics and flow speed. A P value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS:correlations with flow speed were significant at both sites. DATA CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:2 TECHNICAL EFFICACY: Stage 1.
In-vivo measurement of radio frequency electric fields in mice brain
With the development of novel technologies, radio frequency (RF) energy exposure is expanding at various wavelengths and power levels. These developments necessitate updated approaches of RF measurements in complex environments, particularly in live biological tissue. Accurate dosimetry of the absorbed RF electric fields (E-Fields) by the live tissue is the keystone of environmental health considerations for this type of ever-growing non-ionizing radiation energy. In this study, we introduce a technique for direct in-vivo measurement of electric fields in living tissue. Proof of principle in-vivo electric field measurements were conducted in rodent brains using Bismuth Silicon Oxide (BSO) crystals exposed to varying levels of RF energy. Electric field measurements were calibrated and verified using in-vivo temperature measurements using optical temperature fibers alongside electromagnetic field simulations of a transverse electromagnetic (TEM) cell.
Improving measurement of blood-brain barrier permeability with reduced scan time using deep-learning-derived capillary input function
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:In Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI), Arterial Input Function (AIF) has been shown to be a significant contributor to uncertainty in the estimation of kinetic parameters. This study is to assess the feasibility of using a deep learning network to estimate local Capillary Input Function (CIF) to estimate blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, while reducing the required scan time. MATERIALS AND METHOD/METHODS:-10min methods in estimating the PS values. RESULTS:-10min. We found a 75% increase of BBB permeability in the gray matter and a 35% increase in the white matter, when comparing the older group to the younger group. CONCLUSIONS:We demonstrated the feasibility of estimating the capillary-level input functions using a deep learning network. We also showed that this method can be used to estimate subtle age-related changes in BBB permeability with reduced scan time, without compromising accuracy. Moreover, the trained deep learning network can automatically select CIF, reducing the potential uncertainty resulting from manual user-intervention.