Publications by authors named "Eleftherios Lavdas"

35 Publications

The vicious circle between physical, psychological, and physiological characteristics of shift work in nurses: a multidimensional approach.

Sleep Breath 2021 Apr 17. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Karies, 42100, Trikala, Thessaly, Greece.

Purpose: To compare physical, psychological, and physiological adaptations between rotating and morning shift health workers using objective and subjective approaches.

Methods: Forty nurses [n = 20 morning shift (MS) group; n = 20 rotating shift (RS) group] were evaluated for anthropometry, body composition, and handgrip strength. Quality of life, depression, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and sleep quality were assessed with SF-36, Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), respectively. Physical activity was assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and triaxial accelerometers. Sleep-related data were monitored with sleep actigraphy. Salivary melatonin levels were analyzed before/after sleep, and blood lipid profiles were measured the following morning.

Results: The RS group had higher mean BMI and total and abdominal fat and scored lower in the SF-36 (p < 0.01). All nurses showed reduced physical activity levels, which, in the RS group, were negatively correlated with FSS (p = 0.033) and SDS scores (p = 0.025). Poor sleep was revealed in 53% of nurses. The RS group had worse sleep quality by PSQI than the MS group (p = 0.045). PSQI scores were inversely related to SF-36 scores and positively correlated with FSS, BMI, waist circumference, and body fat (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: RS nurses showed increased body mass and total and abdominal fat along with decreased quality of life and sleep quality compared to MS counterparts. A strong relationship was found between physical, psychological, and physiological domains. Further studies should consider workplace interventions to prevent obesity, promote physical activity, and manage poor sleeping patterns in nurses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11325-021-02381-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Long-term intradialytic hybrid exercise training on fatigue symptoms in patients receiving hemodialysis therapy.

Int Urol Nephrol 2021 Apr 2;53(4):771-784. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Live Lab, Department of PE and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, 42100, Trikala, Greece.

Purpose: Hemodialysis (HD) patients suffer from generalized weakness, exercise intolerance and muscle atrophy, all leading to generalized fatigue and lack of energy. HD patients spend at least 50% of their time in a functionally "switch off" mode with their fatigue sensations reaching a peak in the immediate hours after the dialysis session. The purpose of the current study was to assess the effectiveness of a nine-month hybrid intradialytic exercise program on fatigue symptoms occurring during and after hemodialysis session.

Methods: Twenty stable hemodialysis patients were included in the study (59 ± 13.7 years; 16 males). All patients completed a 9-month supervised exercise training program composed of both aerobic cycling and resistance training during HD. Aspects related to physical and generalized fatigue were assessed via validated questionnaires, while physical performance was assessed by a battery of tests, before and after the intervention period.

Results: Exercise capacity and physical performance were increased by an average of 65 and 40%, respectively. Patients reported feeling better during post-dialysis hours in question 1 (p = 0.000), question 3 (p = 0.009) and question 4 (p = 0.003) after the 9-month intervention. In addition, exercise training improved scores in cognitive function (p = 0.037), vitality (p = 0.05), depression (p = 0.000) and fatigue (p = 0.039).

Conclusion: The present study showed that a 9-month hybrid (aerobic + resistance) exercise training program improved symptoms of post-dialysis fatigue and overall general perception of fatigue. Hybrid exercise training is a safe and effective non-pharmacological approach to ameliorate fatigue symptoms in HD patients.

Trial Registration Number: Trial registration number The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01721551, 2012) as a clinical trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-020-02711-8DOI Listing
April 2021

Effects of 12 months of detraining on health-related quality of life in patients receiving hemodialysis therapy.

Int Urol Nephrol 2020 Sep 14;52(9):1771-1778. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of PE and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.

Purpose: Limited data exist regarding the effects of detraining on functional capacity and quality of life (QoL) in the hemodialysis population. The aim of the current study was to assess whether the discontinuation from a systematic intradialytic exercise training program will affect aspects of health-related QoL and functional capacity in hemodialysis patients.

Methods: Seventeen hemodialysis patients (12 Males/5 Females, age 60.8 ± 13.6 year) participated in this study. Patients were assessed for functional capacity using various functional capacity tests while QoL, daily sleepiness, sleep quality, depression and fatigue were assessed using validated questionnaires at the end of a 12-month aerobic exercise program and after 12 months of detraining.

Results: The detraining significantly reduced patients' QoL score by 20% (P = 0.01). More affected were aspects related to the physical component summary of the QoL (P < 0.001) rather than those related to the mental one (P = 0.096). In addition, the performance in the functional capacity tests was reduced (P < 0.05), while sleep quality (P = 0.020) and daily sleepiness scores (P = 0.006) were significantly worse after the detraining period. Depressive symptoms (P = 0.214) and the level of fatigue (P = 0.163) did not change significantly.

Conclusions: Detraining has a detrimental effect in patients' QoL, functional capacity and sleep quality. The affected physical health contributed significantly to the lower QoL score. It is crucial for the chronic disease patients, even during emergencies such as lockdowns and restrictions in activities to maintain a minimum level of activity to preserve some of the acquired benefits and maintain their health status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-020-02560-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7426199PMC
September 2020

GPU-enabled design of an adaptable pattern recognition system for discriminating squamous intraepithelial lesions of the cervix.

Biomed Tech (Berl) 2020 May;65(3):315-325

Department of Medical Physics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Patras, Rio, Patras, Greece.

The aim of the present study was to design an adaptable pattern recognition (PR) system to discriminate low- from high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL and HSIL, respectively) of the cervix using microscopy images of hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained biopsy material from two different medical centers. Clinical material comprised H&E-stained biopsies of 66 patients diagnosed with LSIL (34 cases) or HSIL (32 cases). Regions of interest were selected from each patient's digitized microscopy images. Seventy-seven features were generated, regarding the texture, morphology and spatial distribution of nuclei. The probabilistic neural network (PNN) classifier, the exhaustive search feature selection method, the leave-one-out (LOO) and the bootstrap validation methods were used to design the PR system and to assess its precision. Optimal PR system design and evaluation were made feasible by the employment of graphics processing unit (GPU) and Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) technologies. The accuracy of the PR-system was 93% and 88.6% when using the LOO and bootstrap validation methods, respectively. The proposed PR system for discriminating LSIL from HSIL of the cervix was designed to operate in a clinical environment, having the capability of being redesigned when new verified cases are added to its repository and when data from other medical centers are included, following similar biopsy material preparation procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2019-0040DOI Listing
May 2020

Cardiac autonomic function during intradialytic exercise training.

Postgrad Med 2019 Sep 15;131(7):539-545. Epub 2019 Sep 15.

Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, University of Thessaly , Trikala , Greece.

: Cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction is a common feature in patients receiving hemodialysis (HD) therapy, whilst is associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. The aim of this study is to investigate and compare the hemodynamic changes and responses of ANS function in HD patients using pupillometry and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) parameters. : Sixteen chronic kidney diseases (CKD) patients receiving HD (52.18 ± 17.7 years) underwent both pupillometric measurements using a portable handheld pupil-measuring device and standard HRV analysis pre HD, every hour and 30 min post-HD session under two different scenarios: at rest while the patient resting at HD bed and when the patient performed a single bout of intradialytic aerobic exercise lasting for 45 min during the second hour of the HD therapy. : No significant changes in ANS values were observed in neither of the pupillometric and the HRV values pre HD, for each hour and post-HD session. HRV parameters were significantly correlated with pupillometric parameters at pre HD and immediately after the single bout of intradialytic exercise. ANS activity did not differ during the conventional HD session and during the session included intradialytic exercise. Moreover, sympatho-vagal balance indices deriving from pupillometric assessment showed beneficial changes after the exercise event. : Pupillometry is a promising and robust technique with fewer artifacts compared to HRV especially in studies involving exercise sessions. Thus, pupillometry can be used as a complementary tool in the evaluation of cardiac autonomic dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00325481.2019.1663707DOI Listing
September 2019

Common and Uncommon Artifacts in T1 FLAIR SAG Sequences of MRI Brain.

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol 2021 Jan - Feb;50(1):59-65. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Electronic address:

Objective: This study aims at identifying, classifying, and measuring the frequency the different artifacts that show up in the images of the Sagittal T1 Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) sequence.

Materials And Methods: A total of 101 subjects underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging examination with the following sequences: Axial T1 FLAIR, Axial T2-weighted imaging, Diffusion Weighted Imaging, 2D Multiple Echo Recombined Gradient Echo, Sagittal T1 FLAIR, Coronal T2 Turbo Spin Echo, Spin Echo T1-weighted imaging, and 3D Fast Spoiled Gradient-echo. In these images, we observed the following categories of artifacts: (a) ghost artifacts, (b) aliasing behind the occipital bone, (c) aliasing inside the sphenoid cavity, (d) susceptibility artifacts, and (e) pulsation artifacts. In order to recognize and verify the artifacts, we used not only the Sagittal T1 FLAIR sequence, but also Sagittal reconstructions from the 3-dimensional Fast Spoiled Gradient-echo sequence and the other routine sequences.

Results: Aliasing artifacts and especially aliasing of nose are present in 41% of the cases. In 45% of these cases the uncommon aliasing artifacts, which took place into the brain parenchyma (sphenoid cavity, subarachnoid bay, or pituitary) originated from nose. In 33% of the subjects, ghost artifacts are presented, which stem from the nose, the orbits, or other pulsating structures (pulsation artifacts) or even from fat tissue. Moreover, susceptibility artifacts comprise 8% of all the artifacts. Finally, 19% of brains were presented without artifact.

Conclusions: We suggest in addition to T1 FLAIR, the application of Sagittal SE or TSE sequences in magnetic resonance imaging examination of brain, trying to include the nose in the square of FOV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1067/j.cpradiol.2019.08.001DOI Listing
August 2019

Nocturnal Activity Is Not Affected by a Long-Duration, Low-Intensity Single Exercise Bout.

Sports (Basel) 2019 Mar 1;7(3). Epub 2019 Mar 1.

School of PE and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, 42100 Trikala, Greece.

The aim of the current study was to examine whether prolonged low-intensity aerobic exercise could affect nocturnal activity in healthy individuals. Twenty-one healthy adults (24 ± 3.7 years; 9 females) were enrolled in this study. All participants participated in a 3-h low-intensity walking exercise protocol. Standard biochemical indices were assessed before the exercise protocol and at 72 h. Nocturnal activity and various indices of health were recorded for five consecutive days. The score of muscle pain peaked the night after the exercise protocol ( < 0.05) and returned to baseline two days after. No statistical differences were found in any of the parameters examined, including nocturnal activity. Prolonged low-intensity exercise does not affect nocturnal activity. The anecdotal reports suggesting that exercise or/and physical activity could worsen symptoms of motor restlessness during sleep in sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movements, are not supported by this study. However, these findings need to be verified in clinical populations, as well as by using protocols with different forms of exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/sports7030056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6473573PMC
March 2019

Multifeature Quantification of Nuclear Properties from Images of H&E-Stained Biopsy Material for Investigating Changes in Nuclear Structure with Advancing CIN Grade.

J Healthc Eng 2018 5;2018:6358189. Epub 2018 Jul 5.

Department of Medical Physics, University of Patras, Rio, Patras, Greece.

Background: Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition, and if left untreated, it may lead to cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in nuclear properties of the H&E-stained biopsy material between low CIN and high CIN cases and associate those properties with the CIN grade.

Methods: The clinical material comprised hematoxylin and eosin- (H&E-) stained biopsy specimens from lesions of 44 patients diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Four or five nonoverlapping microscopy images were digitized from each patient's H&E specimens, from regions indicated by the expert physician. Sixty-three textural and morphological nuclear features were generated for each patient's images. The Wilcoxon statistical test and the point biserial correlation were used to estimate each feature's discriminatory power between low CIN and high CIN cases and its correlation with the advancing CIN grade, respectively.

Results: Statistical analysis showed 19 features that quantify nuclear shape, size, and texture and sustain statistically significant differences between low CIN and high CIN cases. These findings revealed that nuclei in high CIN cases, as compared to nuclei in low CIN cases, have more irregular shape, are larger in size, are coarser in texture, contain higher edges, have higher local contrast, are more inhomogeneous, and comprise structures of different intensities.

Conclusion: A systematic statistical analysis of nucleus features, quantified from the H&E-stained biopsy material, showed that there are significant differences in the shape, size, and texture of nuclei between low CIN and high CIN cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/6358189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6057323PMC
November 2019

Dosimetric and Radiobiological Evaluation of Patient Setup Accuracy in Head-and-neck Radiotherapy Using Daily Computed Tomography-on-rails-based Corrections.

J Med Phys 2018 Jan-Mar;43(1):28-40

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Introduction: This study evaluates treatment plans aiming at determining the expected impact of daily patient setup corrections on the delivered dose distribution and plan parameters in head-and-neck radiotherapy.

Materials And Methods: In this study, 10 head-and-neck cancer patients are evaluated. For the evaluation of daily changes of the patient internal anatomy, image-guided radiation therapy based on computed tomography (CT)-on-rails was used. The daily-acquired CT-on-rails images were deformedly registered to the CT scan that was used during treatment planning. Two approaches were used during data analysis ("cascade" and "one-to-all"). The dosimetric and radiobiological differences of the dose distributions with and without patient setup correction were calculated. The evaluation is performed using dose-volume histograms; the biologically effective uniform dose () and the complication-free tumor control probability () were also calculated. The dose-response curves of each target and organ at risk (OAR), as well as the corresponding curves, were calculated.

Results: The average difference for the "one-to-all" case is 0.6 ± 1.8 Gy and for the "cascade" case is 0.5 ± 1.8 Gy. The value of was lowest for the cascade case (in 80% of the patients).

Discussion: Overall, the lowest is observed in the one-to-all cases. Dosimetrically, CT-on-rails data are not worse or better than the planned data.

Conclusions: The differences between the evaluated "one-to-all" and "cascade" dose distributions were small. Although the differences of those doses against the "planned" dose distributions were small for the majority of the patients, they were large for given patients at risk and OAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jmp.JMP_113_17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879821PMC
April 2018

The Effect of Cold Dialysis in Motor and Sensory Symptoms of RLS/WED Occurring During Hemodialysis: A Double-Blind Study.

ASAIO J 2018 Jan/Feb;64(1):110-114

Restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease (RLS/WED) is a common sensorimotory disorder affecting almost 30% of hemodialysis (HD) patients. RLS/WED induces discomfort during rest hours, and its symptoms have also been observed during HD sessions. Anecdotal reports suggest that cooling the dialysate solution during dialysis could help patients overcome those symptoms and improve restlessness. The aim of this double-blind study was to assess whether a reduction of the dialysate temperature by 1°C could reduce motor and sensory symptoms of RLS/WED occurring during HD. Thirty-two HD patients participated in the study. Patients were divided into two groups: the RLS (N=16) and the non-RLS groups (N=16). Patients were studied on two different scenarios for two consecutive HD sessions, 1 week apart: 1) standard temperature of the dialysate (37°C) and 2) low temperature of the dialysate (36°C cold dialysis scenario). In all sessions, motor (leg movement per hour of HD [LM/hHD]) and sensory symptoms were assessed. The reduction of dialysate temperature by 1°C was effective in reducing motor symptoms as they assessed the LM/hHD by 36% only in patients with RLS, while a significant interaction was found between "LM/hHD affected by temperature" and "RLS status" (p = 0.039). Sensory symptoms also reduced by 10% after the reduction of the dialysate temperature. The reduction of the dialysate temperature by 1°C reduced motor symptoms by 36-54% and sensory symptoms by 10% in HD patients with RLS/WED. Cold dialysis could be considered a safe nonpharmacological approach for the amelioration of RLS/WED symptoms occurring during HD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0000000000000622DOI Listing
July 2018

Restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease prevalence in beta thalassemia patients.

Sleep Breath 2018 03 19;22(1):175-179. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Department of PE and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.

Purpose: Both beta thalassemia and restless legs syndrome (RLS) patients share some common pathophysiological characteristics related to iron handling. In the present study, the aim was to explore the prevalence of RLS as well as to explore potential association between the syndrome and various quality of life-related parameters in a sample of beta thalassemia patients.

Methods: One hundred fourteen (age 40 ± 11 yr, 59 M/55F) beta thalassemia patients participated in this cross-sectional descriptive study. Patients were screened for RLS based on the international RLS study group diagnostic criteria as well as a battery of validated questionnaires.

Results: The prevalence of RLS in this sample of beta thalassemia patients was zero. The quality of life score was low (78 ± 18). Iron levels were within normal range (191 ± 66 mcg/dL) while ferritin levels were high as expected (1836 ± 225 ng/dL).

Conclusions: Our sample of patients comes from central Greece where the prevalence of RLS in the general population is 4% while in renal failure patients is 27%. To our surprise, there was no presence of RLS among this sample of beta thalassemia patients. The adequate levels of iron and ferritin often seen in these patients could be the reason of the absence of RLS symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1497-2DOI Listing
March 2018

Brain imaging: Comparison of T1W FLAIR BLADE with conventional T1W SE.

Magn Reson Imaging 2017 Apr 7;37:234-242. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

Department of Medical Radiological Technologists, Technological Education Institute of Athens, Greece. Electronic address:

Introduction: Although T1 weighted spin echo (T1W SE) images are widely used to study anatomical details and pathologic abnormalities of the brain, its role in delineation of lesions and reduction of artifacts has not been thoroughly investigated. BLADE is a fairly new technique that has been reported to reduce motion artifacts and improve image quality.

Objective: The primary objective of this study is to compare the quality of T1-weighted fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images with BLADE technique (T1W FLAIR BLADE) and the quality of T1W SE images in the MR imaging of the brain. The goal is to highlight the advantages of the two sequences as well as which one can better reduce flow and motion artifacts so that the imaging of the lesions will not be impaired.

Materials And Methods: Brain examinations with T1W FLAIR BLADE and T1W SE sequences were performed on 48 patients using a 1.5T scanner. These techniques were evaluated by two radiologists based on: a) a qualitative analysis i.e. overall image quality, presence of artifacts, CSF nulling; and b) a quantitative analysis of signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) and Relative Contrast. The statistical analysis was performed using the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric system.

Results: In the qualitative analysis, BLADE sequences had a higher scoring than the conventional sequences in all the cases. The overall image quality was better on T1W FLAIR BLADE. Motion and flow-related artifacts were lower in T1W FLAIR BLADE. Regarding the SNR measurements, T1W SE appeared to have higher values in the majority of cases, whilst T1W-FLAIR BLADE had higher values in the CNR and Relative Contrast measurements.

Conclusion: T1W FLAIR BLADE sequence appears to be superior to T1W SE in overall image quality and reduction of motion and flow-pulsation artifacts as well as in nulling CSF and has been preferred by the clinicians. T1W FLAIR BLADE may be an alternative approach in brain MRI imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.12.007DOI Listing
April 2017

Computer-based automated estimation of breast vascularity and correlation with breast cancer in DCE-MRI images.

Magn Reson Imaging 2017 Jan 26;35:39-45. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Medical Image and Signal Processing Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Ag. Spyridonos, Egaleo, Athens, 12210, Greece. Electronic address:

Dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) with gadolinium constitutes one of the most promising protocols for boosting up the sensitivity in breast cancer detection. The aim of this study was twofold: first to design an image processing methodology to estimate the vascularity of the breast region in DCE-MRI images and second to investigate whether the differences in the composition/texture and vascularity of normal, benign and malignant breasts may serve as potential indicators regarding the presence of the disease. Clinical material comprised thirty nine cases examined on a 3.0-T MRI system (SIGNA HDx; GE Healthcare). Vessel segmentation was performed using a custom made modification of the Seeded Region Growing algorithm that was designed in order to identify pixels belonging to the breast vascular network. Two families of features were extracted: first, morphological and textural features from segmented images in order to quantify the extent and the properties of the vascular network; second, textural features from the whole breast region in order to investigate whether the nature of the disease causes statistically important changes in the texture of affected breasts. Results have indicated that: (a) the texture of vessels presents statistically significant differences (p<0.001) between normal, benign and malignant cases, (b) the texture of the whole breast region for malignant and non-malignant breasts, produced statistically significant differences (p<0.001), (c) the relative ratios of the texture between the two breasts may be used for the discrimination of non-malignant from malignant patients, and (d) an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.908 (AUC) was found when features were combined in a logistic regression prediction rule according to ROC analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2016.08.007DOI Listing
January 2017

Reduction of motion, truncation and flow artifacts using BLADE sequences in cervical spine MR imaging.

Magn Reson Imaging 2015 Feb 24;33(2):194-200. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

Department of Medical Imaging, IASO Thessalias Hospital, Larissa, Greece.

Purpose: To assess the efficacy of the BLADE technique (MR imaging with 'rotating blade-like k-space covering') to significantly reduce motion, truncation, flow and other artifacts in cervical spine compared to the conventional technique.

Materials And Methods: In eighty consecutive subjects, who had been routinely scanned for cervical spine examination, the following pairs of sequences were compared: a) T2 TSE SAG vs. T2 TSE SAG BLADE and b) T2 TIRM SAG vs. T2 TIRM SAG BLADE. A quantitative analysis was performed using the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) measures. A qualitative analysis was also performed by two radiologists, who graded seven image characteristics on a 5-point scale (0: non-visualization; 1: poor; 2: average; 3: good; 4: excellent). The observers also evaluated the presence of image artifacts (motion, truncation, flow, indentation).

Results: In quantitative analysis, the CNR values of the CSF/SC between TIRM SAG and TIRM SAG BLADE were found to present statistically significant differences (p < 0.001). Regarding motion and truncation artifacts, the T2 TSE BLADE SAG was superior compared to the T2 TSE SAG, and the T2 TIRM BLADE SAG was superior compared to the T2 TIRM SAG. Regarding flow artifacts, T2 TIRM BLADE SAG eliminated more artifacts than T2 TIRM SAG.

Conclusions: In cervical spine MRI, BLADE sequences appear to significantly reduce motion, truncation and flow artifacts and improve image quality. BLADE sequences are proposed to be used for uncooperative subjects. Nevertheless, more research needs to be done by testing additional specific pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2014.10.014DOI Listing
February 2015

A quantitative evaluation of damage in normal appearing white matter in patients with multiple sclerosis using diffusion tensor MR imaging at 3 T.

Acta Neurol Belg 2015 Jun 30;115(2):111-6. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Department of Radiology, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Thessaly, Greece,

The white matter (WM) of the brain is damaged in multiple sclerosis (MS), even in areas that appear normal on standard MR imaging. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the damage of normal appearing white matter (NAWM) in patients with MS. In our study, 84 MS patients and 42 healthy adults underwent a routine brain MRI, including also diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). All studies were performed on a 3 T MRI scanner. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were obtained. The DTI parameters of NAWM were correlated with expanded disability status scales (EDSS) scores. Our results showed statistically significant differences in FA and ADC values between MS plaques and the symmetrical NAWM, as also between NAWM and the respective white matter in controls. The ADC values of the NAWM correlated with the EDSS scores. The present study demonstrated damage of the NAWM in MS patients, using DTI in 3.0 T. DTI may be used in the detection of subtle damage of the white matter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13760-014-0338-3DOI Listing
June 2015

Evaluation of fat saturation and contrast enhancement on T1-weighted FLAIR sequence of the spine at 3.0 T.

Clin Imaging 2014 Jul-Aug;38(4):428-433. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Larissa, Medical School of Thessaly, Biopolis, Greece. Electronic address:

Purpose: To evaluate T1-weighted fast spin echo (FSE) and fast T1-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging, pre and post contrast administration, and assess the necessity of fat saturation regarding normal anatomical structures, degenerative and pathological vertebral body lesions of the spine at 3.0 T.

Methods And Materials: Spine magnetic resonance imaging studies of 59 consecutive patients (31 females, 28 males), aged 33-81 years (mean age 53 years) were reviewed. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation was performed by comparing T1-FSE and fast T1-weighted FLAIR after administration of a gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agent (0.1 mmol/kg gadopentetate dimeglumine) with fat suppression (FS), detecting the sequence that provided better identification of the normal anatomical structures, as well as pathological findings. In a small sample of twelve patients, post-contrast T1-weighted images with and without FS were also included.

Results: On both quantitative and qualitative analysis between of T1-weighted FLAIR and T1-weighted FSE images, the FLAIR sequence with contrast administration and FS, demonstrated improved enhancement in all abnormalities, presented with minimal susceptibility artifacts, homogeneities in fat saturation for all FOV and minimal chemical shift artifacts.

Conclusion: Based on the results of our qualitative and quantitative assessment of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine at 3.0T we concluded that fast T1-weighted FLAIR images with intravenous (iv) Gd and FS were superior to T1-weighted FSE images with iv Gd and FS, with respect to identification of normal anatomical structures and pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2014.02.003DOI Listing
December 2014

T2 FLAIR artifacts at 3-T brain magnetic resonance imaging.

Clin Imaging 2014 Mar-Apr;38(2):85-90. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Larissa, Medical School of Thessaly, Biopolis, Greece.

The purpose of this retrospective clinical study was to identify and evaluate the presence and frequency of T2 FLAIR artifacts on brain MRI studies performed at 3 T. We reviewed axial T2 FLAIR images in 200 consecutive unremarkable brain MRI studies performed at 3 T. All studies were reviewed for the presence of artifacts caused by pulsatile CSF flow, magnetic susceptibility and no nulling of the CSF signal. T2 FLAIR images introduce several artifacts that may degrade image quality and mimic pathology. Knowledge of these artifacts and increased severity and frequency at 3 T is of particular importance in avoiding a misdiagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2013.10.004DOI Listing
September 2014

Effect of exercise training and dopamine agonists in patients with uremic restless legs syndrome: a six-month randomized, partially double-blind, placebo-controlled comparative study.

BMC Nephrol 2013 Sep 11;14:194. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.

Background: Restless Legs Syndrome is very common in hemodialysis patients however there are no comparative studies assessing the effectiveness of a non-pharmacological treatment to a classical treatment on parameters related to syndromes' severity and quality of life.

Methods: In this randomized, partially double blind, placebo controlled trial, thirty two hemodialysis patients with restless legs syndrome were randomly assigned into three groups: 1) the exercise training group (N = 16), 2) the dopamine agonists group (ropinirole 0.25 mg/d) (N = 8) and 3) the placebo group (N = 8). The intervention programs lasted 6 months. Restless Legs Syndrome severity was assessed using the international severity scale, physical performance by a battery of tests, muscle size and composition by computed tomography, body composition by Dual Energy X Ray Absorptiometry, while depression score, sleep quality, daily sleepiness and quality of life were assessed through questionnaires.

Results: Exercise training and dopamine agonists were effective in reducing syndrome's symptoms by 46% (P = 0.009) and 54% (P = 0.001) respectively. Within group changes revealed that both approaches significantly improved quality of life (P < 0.05), however, only the dopamine agonists significantly improved sleep quality (P = 0.009). Within group changes showed a tendency for lean body mass improvements with dopamine agonists, this reached statistical significance only with the exercise training (P = 0.014), which also reduced fat infiltration in muscles (P = 0.044) and improved physical performance (P > 0.05) in various tests. Between group changes detect significant improvements with both exercise and dopamine agonists in depression score (P = 0.003), while only the dopamine agonist treatment was able to significantly improve sleep quality, compared to exercise and placebo (P = 0.016).

Conclusions: A 6-month exercise training regime was as effective as a 6-month low dosage dopamine agonist treatment in reducing restless legs syndrome symptoms and improving depression score in uremic patients. Further research is needed in order to show whether a combination treatment could be more beneficial for the amelioration of RLS.

Trial Registration: NCT00942253.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2369-14-194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847208PMC
September 2013

Comparison of BLADE and conventional T2-TSE sequences for the sagittal visualization of the cervical spinal cord in multiple sclerosis patients - a case report.

Magn Reson Imaging 2013 Dec 29;31(10):1766-70. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Department of Medical Radiological Technologists, Technological Education Institute of Athens, Greece.

The purpose of this study is to report the significant differences found in the identification of lesions in cervical spinal cord of two patients with multiple sclerosis when using the BLADE T2-TSE and BLADE T2-TIRM sequences as opposed to the conventional T2-TSE and T2-TIRM sequences for sagittal acquisition at 1.5T. In both patients, one more lesion was identified with the BLADE sequences than with the conventional ones. Consequently, we suggest the use of BLADE T2-TSE and BLADE T2-TIRM sequences in place of conventional ones for sagittal examination of the cervical spinal cord of multiple sclerosis patients. The advantages of ΤΙRΜ to reveal the pathology of the cervical spinal cord and the advantage of BLADE sequences to improve image quality should be combined in a sequence that could be ideal for cervical spinal cord examinations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2013.07.008DOI Listing
December 2013

Comparison of PD BLADE with fat saturation (FS), PD FS and T2 3D DESS with water excitation (WE) in detecting articular knee cartilage defects.

Magn Reson Imaging 2013 Oct 19;31(8):1255-62. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Department of Medical Radiological Technologists, Technological Education Institute of Athens, Greece.

The purpose of this study, is to compare the sequences: 1) proton density (PD) BLADE (BLADE is a PROPELLER-equivalent implementation of the Siemens Medical System) with fat saturation (FS) coronal (COR), 2) PD FS COR, 3) multi-planar reconstruction (MPR) with 3mm slice thickness and 4) multi-planar reconstruction (MPR) with 1.5mm slice thickness, both from the T2 3D-double-echo steady state (DESS) with water excitation (WE) sagittal (SAG), regarding their abilities to identify changes in the femorotibial condyle cartilage in knee MRI examinations. Thirty three consecutive patients with osteoarthritis (18 females, 15 males; mean age 56years, range 37-71years), who had been routinely scanned for knee examination using the previously mentioned image acquisition techniques, participated in the study. A quantitative analysis was performed based on the relative contrast (ReCON) measurements, which were taken both on normal tissues as well as on pathologies. Additionally, a qualitative analysis was performed by two radiologists. Motion and pulsatile flow artifacts were evaluated. The PD BLADE FS COR sequence produced images of higher contrast between Menisci and Cartilage, Fluid and Cartilage, Pathologies and Cartilage as well as of the Conspicuousness Superficial Cartilage and it was found to be superior to the other sequences (p<0.001). The sequences T2 3D DESS 1.5mm and T2 3D DESS 3mm were significantly superior to the PD BLADE FS COR and the PD FS COR sequences in the visualization of Bone and Cartilage and the Conspicuousness Deep Surface Cartilage. This pattern of results is also confirmed by the quantitative analysis. PD FS BLADE sequences are ideal for the depiction of the cartilage pathologies compared to the conventional PD FS and T2 3D DESS sequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2013.06.007DOI Listing
October 2013

Elimination of motion, pulsatile flow and cross-talk artifacts using blade sequences in lumbar spine MR imaging.

Magn Reson Imaging 2013 Jul 18;31(6):882-90. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

Department of Medical Radiological Technologists, Technological Education Institute of Athens, Greece.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ability of T2 turbo spin echo (TSE) axial and sagittal BLADE sequences in reducing or even eliminating motion, pulsatile flow and cross-talk artifacts in lumbar spine MRI examinations. Forty four patients, who had routinely undergone a lumbar spine examination, participated in the study. The following pairs of sequences with and without BLADE were compared: a) T2 TSE Sagittal (SAG) in thirty two cases, and b) T2 TSE Axial (AX) also in thirty two cases. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed based on measurements in different normal anatomical structures and examination of seven characteristics, respectively. The qualitative analysis was performed by experienced radiologists. Also, the presence of image motion, pulsatile flow and cross-talk artifacts was evaluated. Based on the results of the qualitative analysis for the different sequences and anatomical structures, the BLADE sequences were found to be significantly superior to the conventional ones in all the cases. The BLADE sequences eliminated the motion artifacts in all the cases. In our results, it was found that in the examined sequences (sagittal and axial) the differences between the BLADE and conventional sequences regarding the elimination of motion, pulsatile flow and cross-talk artifacts were statistically significant. In all the comparisons, the T2 TSE BLADE sequences were significantly superior to the corresponding conventional sequences regarding the classification of their image quality. In conclusion, this technique appears to be capable of potentially eliminating motion, pulsatile flow and cross-talk artifacts in lumbar spine MR images and producing high quality images in collaborative and non-collaborative patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2013.03.006DOI Listing
July 2013

How reliable is MRCP with an SS-FSE sequence at 3.0 T: comparison between SS-FSE BH and 3D-FSE BH ASSET sequences.

Clin Imaging 2013 Jul-Aug;37(4):697-703. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Larissa, Greece.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the visibility and the image quality of the biliary and pancreatic duct system on magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) images based on two breath-hold (BH) methods using array spatial sensitivity technique: a single-shot fast spin-echo (SS-FSE) sequence and a three-dimensional single slab fast spin-echo (3D-FSE) sequence.

Materials And Methods: In the present prospective comparative study, 47 patients (22 male and 25 female, mean age=50 years, age range=22-82 years) that were referred for MRCP during a 12-month period are included. All of them were referred with suspected pancreaticobiliary disease. All patients underwent MRCP with both a SS-FSE BH sequence and a 3D-FSE BH sequence. Qualitative evaluation regarding the depiction of three segments of the pancreaticobiliary tree and the frequency of artifacts was performed. Two radiologists graded each sequence of the obtained studies in a blinded fashion. Quantitative evaluation including calculation of relative signal intensity (rSI) and relative contrast (RC) ratios at seven segments of the pancreaticobiliary tree between fluid-filled ductal structures and organ parenchyma at the same ductal segments was performed. In order to evaluate the parameters' differences of the two sequences, either in qualitative or in quantitative analysis, the Wilcoxon paired signed-rank test was performed.

Results: On quantitative evaluation, both rSI and RC ratios of all segments of the pancreaticobiliary tree at SS-FSE BH sequence were higher than those at 3D-FSE BH sequences. This finding was statistically significant (P<.01). On qualitative evaluation, the two radiologists found intrahepatic ducts and pancreatic ducts to be better visualized with SS-FSE BH than with 3D-FSE BH sequence. This finding was statistically significant (P<.02). One of them found extrahepatic ducts to be significantly better visualized with SS-FSE BH sequence. Moreover, the frequency of artifacts was lower in the SS-FSE sequence, a finding that was of statistical significance. Interobserver agreement analysis found at least substantial agreement (κ>0.60) between the two radiologists.

Conclusion: The SS-FSE sequence is performed faster and significantly improves image quality; thus, it should be included into the routine MRCP sequence protocol at 3.0 T. Furthermore, we recommended SS-FSE BH MRCP examination to be applied to uncooperative patients or patients in emergency because of its short acquisition time (1 s).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2013.01.011DOI Listing
June 2014

Texture analysis of articular cartilage traumatic changes in the knee calculated from morphological 3.0T MR imaging.

Eur J Radiol 2013 Aug 22;82(8):1266-72. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Department of Medical Radiologic Technology, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Ag.Spyridonos, Egaleo, Athens 12210, Greece.

Objectives: In the present work, we aim to identify changes in the cartilage texture of the injured knee in young, physically active, patients by computer analysis of MRI images based on 3.0T morphological sequences.

Methods: Fifty-three young patients with training injury or trauma in one knee underwent MRI and arthroscopy. Textural features were computed from the MRI images of the knee-cartilages and two classes were formed of 28 normal and 16 with pathology only in the medial femoral condyle (MFC) cartilage.

Results: Textural features with statistically significant differences between the two classes were found only at the MFC and the medial tibial condyle (MTC) areas. Three features-combinations, at the MFC or the MTC, maximized the between classes separation, thus, rendering alterations in cartilage texture due to injury more evident. The MFC cartilage in the pathology class was found more inhomogeneous in the distribution of gray-levels and of lower texture anisotropy and the opposed MTC cartilage, though normal on MRI and arthroscopy, was found to have lower texture anisotropy than cartilage in the normal class.

Conclusion: Texture analysis may be used as an adjunct to morphological MR imaging for improving the detection of subtle cartilage changes and contributes to early therapeutic approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.01.023DOI Listing
August 2013

Pattern-recognition system, designed on GPU, for discriminating between injured normal and pathological knee cartilage.

Magn Reson Imaging 2013 Jun 17;31(5):761-70. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Department of Medical Instruments Technology, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Ag. Spyridonos, Egaleo, 12210 Athens, Greece.

The aim was to design a pattern-recognition (PR) system for discriminating between normal and pathological knee articular cartilage of the medial femoral (MFC) and tibial condyles (MTC). The data set comprised segmented regions of interest (ROIs) from coronal and sagittal 3-T magnetic resonance images of the MFC and MTC cartilage of young patients, 28 with abnormality-free knee and 16 with pathological findings. The PR system was designed employing the probabilistic neural network classifier, textural features from the segmented ROIs and the leave-one-out evaluation method, while the PR system's precision to "unseen" data was assessed by employing the external cross-validation method. Optimal system design was accomplished on a consumer graphics processing unit (GPU) using Compute Unified Device Architecture parallel programming. PR system design on the GPU required about 3.5 min against 15 h on a CPU-based system. Highest classification accuracies for the MFC and MTC cartilages were 93.2% and 95.5%, and accuracies to "unseen" data were 89% and 86%, respectively. The proposed PR system is housed in a PC, equipped with a consumer GPU, and it may be easily retrained when new verified data are incorporated in its repository and may be of value as a second-opinion tool in a clinical environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2012.10.029DOI Listing
June 2013

Improvement of image quality using BLADE sequences in brain MR imaging.

Magn Reson Imaging 2013 Feb 7;31(2):189-200. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Department of Medical Radiological Technologists, Techological Education Institute of Athens, Greece.

The purpose of this study is to compare two types of sequences in brain magnetic resonance (MR) examinations of uncooperative and cooperative patients. For each group of patients, the pairs of sequences that were compared were two T2-weighted (T2-W) fluid attenuated inversion recovery sequences with different k-space trajectories (conventional Cartesian and BLADE) and two T2-TSE weighted with different k-space trajectories (conventional Cartesian and BLADE). Twenty-three consecutive uncooperative patients and 44 cooperative patients, who routinely underwent brain MR imaging examination, participated in the study. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed based on the signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and relative contrast (ReCon) measures of normal anatomic structures. The qualitative analysis was performed by experienced radiologists. Also, the presence of motion, other (e.g., Gibbs, susceptibility artifacts, phase encoding from vessels) artifacts and pulsatile flow artifacts was evaluated. In the uncooperative group of patients, BLADE sequences were superior to the corresponding conventional sequences in all the cases. Furthermore, the differences were found to be statistically significant in almost all the cases. In the cooperative group of patients, BLADE sequences were superior to the conventional sequences with the differences of the CNR and ReCon values in nine cases being statistically significant. Furthermore, BLADE sequences eliminated motion and other artifacts and T2 FLAIR BLADE sequences eliminated pulsatile flow artifacts. BLADE sequences (T2-TSE and T2 FLAIR) should be used in brain MR examinations of uncooperative patients. In cooperative patients, T2-TSE BLADE sequences may be used as part of the routine protocol and orbital examinations. T2 FLAIR BLADE sequences may be used optionally in examinations of AVM, orbits, haemorrhages, ventricular lesions, lesions in the frontal lobe, periventricular lesions, lesions in regions close to artifacts and lesions in posterior fossa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2012.08.001DOI Listing
February 2013

A method for limiting pitfalls in the production of enhancement kinetic curves in 3T dynamic magnetic resonance mammography.

J Thorac Dis 2012 Aug;4(4):358-67

Purpose: The aim of the present study is to investigate means for the reduction or even elimination of enhancement kinetic curve errors due to breast motion in order to avoid pitfalls and to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the method.

Methods: 115 women underwent breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). All patients were properly immobilized in a dedicated bilateral phased array coil. A magnetic resonance unit 3-Tesla (Signa, GE Healthcare) was used. The following sequences were applied: (I) axial Τ2-TSE, (II) axial STIR and (III) Vibrant axial T1-weighted fat saturation (six phases). Kinetic curves were derived semi-automatically using the software of the system and manually by positioning the regions of interest (ROI) from stable reference points in all the phases.

Results: 376 abnormalities in 115 patients were investigated. In 81 (21.5%) cases, a change of the enhancement kinetic curve type was found when the two different methods were used. In cases of large fatty breasts, a change of the enhancement kinetic curve type in 13 lesions was found. In cases of small and dense breasts, only in 4 lesions the kinetic curve type changed, whereas in cases of small and fatty breasts, the kinetic curve type changed in 64 lesions (50 were observed in left breasts and 14 in right breasts).

Conclusions: The derivation of enhancement kinetic curves should be performed by controlling and verifying that the ROIs lay at the same location of the lesion in all the phases of the dynamic study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2012.07.15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3426736PMC
August 2012

Elimination of motion and pulsation artifacts using BLADE sequences in knee MR imaging.

Magn Reson Imaging 2012 Oct 4;30(8):1099-110. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Department of Medical Radiological Technologists, Technological Education Institute of Athens, 12210 Athens, Greece.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ability of proton density (PD)-BLADE sequences in reducing or even eliminating motion and pulsatile flow artifacts in knee magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Eighty consecutive patients, who had been routinely scanned for knee examination, participated in the study. The following pairs of sequences with and without BLADE were compared: (a) PD turbo spin echo (TSE) sagittal (SAG) fat saturation (FS) in 35 patients, (b) PD TSE coronal (COR) FS in 19 patients, (c) T2 TSE axial in 13 patients and (d) PD TSE SAG in 13 patients. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed based on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and relative contrast (ReCon) measures of normal anatomic structures. The qualitative analysis was performed by experienced radiologists. Also, the presence of image motion and pulsation artifacts was evaluated. Based on the results of the SNR, CRN and ReCon for the different sequences and anatomical structures, the BLADE sequences were significantly superior in 19 cases, whereas the corresponding conventional sequences were significantly superior in only 6 cases. BLADE sequences eliminated motion artifacts in all the cases. However, motion artifacts were shown in (a) six PD TSE SAG FS, (b) three PD TSE COR FS, (c) three PD TSE SAG and (d) two T2 TSE axial conventional sequences. In our results, it was found that, in PD FS sequences (sagittal and coronal), the differences between the BLADE and conventional sequences regarding the elimination of motion and pulsatile flow artifacts were statistically significant. In all the comparisons, the PD FS BLADE sequences (coronal and sagittal) were significantly superior to the corresponding conventional sequences regarding the classification of their image quality. In conclusion, this technique appears to be capable to potentially eliminate motion and pulsatile flow artifacts in MR images.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2012.04.001DOI Listing
October 2012

Perfusion sensitive contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour: a new neuroimaging finding.

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2012 Mar-Apr;46(2):184-8

Euromedica Diagnostic Institution, Larissa, Greece.

Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumours (DNTs) are benign lesions affecting young people and are associated with epilepsy. There have been described more than 300 cases in the literature and the clinical, pathological and radiological findings are well known. Recent advances in neuroimaging allow the acquisition of cerebral microcirculation parameters by perfusion weighted imaging, giving additional diagnostic information improving the diagnostic accuracy. The aim of this study is to show the perfusion sensitive contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging findings of a case of DNT as an additional neuroradiological finding. Further investigation of microcirculation parameters may be helpful to establish the correct diagnosis of such tumours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/ninp.2012.28262DOI Listing
July 2012

Evidence of increased muscle atrophy and impaired quality of life parameters in patients with uremic restless legs syndrome.

PLoS One 2011 3;6(10):e25180. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

Department of Nephrology, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Thessaly, Greece.

Background: Restless Legs Syndrome is a very common disorder in hemodialysis patients. Restless Legs Syndrome negatively affects quality of life; however it is not clear whether this is due to mental or physical parameters and whether an association exists between the syndrome and parameters affecting survival. METHOD#ENTITYSTARTX003BF;LOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using the Restless Legs Syndrome criteria and the presence of Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep (PLMS/h >15), 70 clinically stable hemodialysis patients were assessed and divided into the RLS (n = 30) and non-RLS (n = 40) groups. Physical performance was evaluated by a battery of tests: body composition by dual energy X ray absorptiometry, muscle size and composition by computer tomography, while depression symptoms, perception of sleep quality and quality of life were assessed through validated questionnaires. In this cross sectional analysis, the RLS group showed evidence of thigh muscle atrophy compared to the non-RLS group. Sleep quality and depression score were found to be significantly impaired in the RLS group. The mental component of the quality of life questionnaire appeared significantly diminished in the RLS group, reducing thus the overall quality of life score. In contrast, there were no significant differences between groups in any of the physical performance tests, body and muscle composition.

Conclusions: The low level of quality of life reported by the HD patients with Restless Legs Syndrome seems to be due mainly to mental health and sleep related aspects. Increased evidence of muscle atrophy is also observed in the RLS group and possibly can be attributed to the lack of restorative sleep.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0025180PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184961PMC
January 2012

Non-pharmacological management of periodic limb movements during hemodialysis session in patients with uremic restless legs syndrome.

ASAIO J 2010 Nov-Dec;56(6):538-42

Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is very common in hemodialysis patients. RLS induces motor excitability and discomfort during rest periods, and those symptoms have also been observed during hemodialysis sessions. The aim of the study was to assess whether a single bout of exercise could reduce periodic limb movements (PLM) occurring during hemodialysis. Eighteen hemodialysis patients were eligible and participated in the study. Using the RLS criteria and further verified by the presence of PLM during sleep, patients were divided to non-RLS and RLS groups. Three scenarios were studied during three different sessions: 1) light exercise, including cycling for 45 minutes with no added resistance, 2) heavy exercise, including cycling for 45 minutes with a resistance set at 60% of their exercise capacity, and 3) no exercise, including rest for the same period of time. In all sessions, PLM per hour of hemodialysis (PLM/hHD) was recorded. A single bout of either light or heavy exercise was equally effective in significantly reducing PLM/hHD in patients with RLS compared with the no-exercise scenario, whereas in non-RLS patients, no effect was observed. Independent of intensity, a single bout of intradialytic exercise reduces PLM/hHD in hemodialysis patients with RLS. Further research is needed to establish the acute role of exercise in ameliorating the RLS symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0b013e3181f1cc04DOI Listing
May 2011