TI-RADS guidelines based on sonographic thyroid imaging had higher specificity, positive and negative predictive values, accuracy and area under the receiver operator characteristics curve than American Thyroid Association or Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound guidelines for managing thyroid nodules. The retrospective study of more than 1,000 thyroid nodules showed the ATA guidelines had higher sensitivity than the TI-RADS or SRU guidelines. The findings show that consensus guidelines are needed to inform clinical management of thyroid nodules, said Dr. Hannah Chung, who presented the study at a meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society.
Swiss researchers found that 6% of women who took pain and epilepsy drug Lyrica, or pregabalin, during the first trimester of pregnancy had babies with major birth defects, such as heart defects and problems with the central nervous system or other organs, compared with 2% among those who didn't take the drug. The findings in Neurology, based on data involving 820 pregnant women, also showed that those who took the drug had a sixfold increased likelihood of having infants with major abnormalities in the central nervous system, compared with those who didn't.
Robots that have a sense of touch could allow clinicians to conduct ultrasound imaging of patients' abdominal organs and blood vessels from a remote location, according to scientists at the Deakin University Institute for Intelligent Systems Research in Australia. The robots can alert clinicians operating the equipment remotely to patient discomfort, and proponents say the technology could improve care in underserved areas. The technology is not yet ready for commercialization.
Data showed 92% of physicians said they have a responsibility to control health care costs but just 37% reported having a good understanding of what test and procedure costs should be, according to a study by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice published in the American Journal of Managed Care. The study found primary care physicians were more likely than other specialists to be aware of the Choosing Wisely initiative, as well as more likely to say it provided tools or information needed to reduce unnecessary procedures and tests.
Hospitals and medical practices can meet MedPAC objectives by integrating ultrasound into their care delivery systems, writes Jill Rathbun, managing partner at Galileo Consulting Group. Utilization of ultrasound -- such as for guiding paracentesis and thoracentesis -- can help increase efficient, high-quality care, cut complications and reduce readmissions, Rathbun writes.
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President Barack Obama pushed Congress to appropriate $1.9 billion to fight the spread of the Zika virus as the CDC announced that 157 pregnant women in the continental US and an additional 122 in US territories have tested positive for the virus. The CDC will compile data from surveillance systems in the US and Puerto Rico and issue weekly reports on pregnant women with any laboratory evidence of potential infection.
A study found that neural tube defects dropped at a rate of nearly 9 cases per 100,000 annual births before a 1998 law mandating folic acid fortification of grains to 2 per 100,000 births after fortification. The rate of gastroschisis, which had been increasing by a rate of nearly 4 cases per 100,000 births annually before fortification, saw an annual increase of 1 per 100,000 births after fortification. The findings, based on 1989 to 2010 data involving all live births and stillbirths in central California, were published in Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology.
A study presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists annual meeting showed that 95% of patients who received prenatal care through a remote monitoring system had higher satisfaction with their care at 36 weeks, compared with 77% of those in the usual prenatal care group. Researchers used a cohort of 267 pregnant women, ages 18 to 39, and found those in the remote monitoring group also reported significantly less pregnancy-related stress at 14 and 36 weeks, as well as 2.85 fewer scheduled appointments with a provider and 3.4 fewer outpatient scheduled clinic appointments.
The Senate last week approved a bill providing $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight the spread of the Zika virus. The Senate and House of Representatives must agree on a funding amount before sending a bill to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House has approved $622.1 million, which would be funded through reductions to existing programs.
The Zika virus and other health emergencies will be the primary focus of the World Health Organization's World Health Assembly this week. In all, the assembly will address 76 health issues, including maternal mortality.
The PVI examination assesses the knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of anatomy and hemodynamics (blood flow) of cerebrovascular, venous, peripheral and abdominal blood vessels. The next application period is from June 22 to Aug. 23. The PVI examination will be administered from Sept. 20 to Oct. 20. Learn more.