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  • Radiology in Public Focus

    Press releases were sent to the medical news media for the following articles appearing in recent issues of Radiology.

    October 11, 2016

    Congenital Brain Abnormalities and Zika Virus: What the Radiologist Can Expect to See

    Prenatally and Postnatally


    A spectrum of imaging findings revealing brain abnormalities associated with the congenital Zika virus infection will aid the radiologist in identifying the virus infection at imaging, according to new research.

    In a special report in Radiology, Fernanda Tovar-Moll, MD, PhD, vice president of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education and professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and colleagues performed a retrospective review of imaging and autopsy findings associated with the congenital Zika virus infection in women referred to the Instituto de Pesquisa in Campina Grande (IPESQ), Northeastern Brazil — where the infection has been severe.

    From June 2015 to May 2016, 438 patients were referred to the IPESQ due to rash during pregnancy or suspected central nervous system abnormality. From this group, the researchers identified 17 fetuses or neonates of women who had imaging at IPESQ, as well as documented Zika infection in fluid or tissue (“confirmed cohort”), and 28 fetuses or neonates with brain findings suspicious for Zika infection with intracranial calcifications (“presumed cohort”). Imaging exams included fetal MRI, postnatal brain CT, postnatal brain MRI and, in some cases, longitudinal prenatal ultrasound.

    The brain abnormalities seen in confirmed and presumed Zika groups were very similar. Nearly all of the babies in each group had ventriculomegaly, a gross enlargement of lateral ventricles in the brain. Although most fetuses had at least one exam showing abnormally small head circumference, the researchers discovered that head circumference was normal in three fetuses with severe ventriculomegaly.

    Ninety-four percent of the confirmed Zika group and 79 percent of the presumed Zika group had abnormalities of the corpus callosum. All but one had cortical migrational abnormalities.

    Intracranial calcifications were present in 88 percent of the confirmed Zika group and 100 percent of the presumed Zika group — most commonly found at the gray-white junction of the brain. All of the babies exhibited reduced tissue volume in their brains. All patients showed varying abnormalities in cortical development.

    The severity of the cortical malformation and associated tissue changes, and the localization of the calcifications at the grey-white matter junction were the most surprising findings, according to researchers.

    “There are a variety of brain abnormalities that can be found in fetuses exposed to intrauterine Zika virus infection,” the authors write. “It is important for radiologists to understand the type of abnormalities associated with congenital Zika virus infection to aid in recognition of disease and appropriate counseling of patients.”

    Zika Research Featured at RSNA 2016

    The Hot Topic Session:
    Zika — What the Radiologist Needs to Know (SPSH21)
    — Moderated by Deborah Levine, MD, will be featured at RSNA 2016. Go to My Agenda at Meeting.RSNA.org.

    Radiologists Do Not Face Elevated Risk of Radiation-related Mortality

    No evidence of excess radiation-related mortality was found in U.S.-based radiologists who graduated from medical school after 1940, possibly due to increased radiation protection and/or lifestyle changes, according to new research.

    Amy Berrington de González, DPhil, of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Md., and colleagues, used the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile to construct a cohort of 43,763 radiologists and 64,990 psychiatrists (control group) who graduated from medical school between 1916 and 2006. Researchers sought to assess whether differences between radiologists and psychiatrists are consistent with known risks of radiation exposure and the changes in radiation exposure exhibited in radiologists over time.

    Vital status was obtained from record linkages with the Social Security Administration and commercial databases, and cause of death was obtained from the National Death Index.

    In the radiologists who graduated before 1940, researchers discovered an increased risk of mortality from leukemia and/or myelodysplastic syndrome that was likely related to occupational radiation exposure. Results also showed an increased mortality from melanoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and cerebrovascular disease in those who graduated before 1940, and this is possibly due to occupational radiation exposure.

    “There have been dramatic improvements in radiation protection since the earliest radiologists started practicing, including general lead shielding of equipment, personal use of lead aprons and glasses, and use of room shields,” the authors write.

    Radiology’s Zika Research Captures World’s Attention

    A special Radiology report on the Zika virus (see study, above) released in August captured the attention of media across the globe, including the New York Times, which devoted a front-page article to the research.

    Other high-profile coverage of the Radiology research included NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, NPR, Voice of America, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, TIME and Popular
    . More than 550 print, broadcast and online placements were tracked in these outlets in the first 24 hours.

    Additional outlets include Newsday, the Huffington Post, Fox News Channel, CNBC, The Daily Beast, Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Toronto Star, Daily Mail, San Francisco Chronicle, and
    The Philadelphia Inquirer.

    This coverage reached an estimated audience of 1 billion, and continues to climb.

    RSNA Newsroom Promotes RSNA Annual Meeting to Media

    The RSNA newsroom is responsible for all media relations activities associated with the RSNA annual meeting.

    Among their duties, the newsroom staff develops the RSNA press kit and online press releases, fields inquiries and interview requests, assists members of the press onsite and promotes research presented at the annual meeting to national and international consumer and trade media.

    More than 100 reporters attended last year’s annual meeting and nearly 22,000 stories about RSNA 2015 have been carried by print, broadcast and online media outlets.

    Media Coverage of RSNA

    In June, 809 RSNA-related news stories were tracked in the media. These stories reached an estimated 472 million people.

    Coverage included KCBS-TV (Los Angeles), KCAL-TV (Los Angeles), WCPO-TV (Cincinnati), WebMD, Philly.com, HealthDay, Health.com, Boston.com, CNBC.com, ScienceDaily and Medical News Today.

    In July, 869 RSNA-related news stories were tracked in the media. These stories reached an estimated 476 million people.

    Coverage included U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo! Finance, Fox News Channel, San Francisco Chronicle,Philly.com, WebMD, ScienceDaily, MedPage Today, HealthDay, Houston Chronicle, Diagnostic Imaging and Auntminnie.com.

    October and November Public Information Activities Focus on Breast and Lung Cancer Awareness

    In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, RSNA is distributing public service announcements (PSAs) that focus on the importance of screening and the symptoms, risk factors and possible treatment options related to these cancers.

    In addition, the RSNA “60-Second Checkup” audio program focusing on breast cancer for October and lung cancer for November will be distributed to 65 radio stations across the country.

    New on RadiologyInfo.org

    Visit RadiologyInfo.org,the public information website produced by RSNA and ACR, to read new content posted to the site on Intravascular Ultrasound and Pediatric MRI. Be sure to check out the new “Your Radiologist Explains” video on
    Pediatric MRI as well.

    Connect with RadiologyInfo.org on Social Media

    Have you connected with RadiologyInfo.org on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube? Get the latest information and news to share with your patients by liking

      FB   Facebook.com/Radiology Info and following  Twitter Twitter.com/RadiologyInfo.

    Access patient education videos describing various radiology procedures at YouTube.com/Radiologyinfodotorg.

    Brain Scan
    Figures a & b: T2-weighted MR images obtained in the neonate at 26 days (a-b) show septation in the ventricle (arrowhead on a). The right ventricle has relatively decreased in size compared with the prenatal image, whereas the left ventricle has increased in size. Under-rotation of the hippocampus (arrowheads on b) is demonstrated. (Radiology 2016;281;1:203–218 ©RSNA 2016. All rights reserved. Printed with permission.)

    Surface reconstruction postnatal CT images obtained in the case of a 24-year-old woman pregnant with twins, with characteristic rash at 9 weeks of pregnancy and confirmed Zika virus infection. (Radiology 2016;281;1:203–218 ©RSNA 2016. All rights reserved. Printed with permission.)