Publications by authors named "Stefano Colagrande"

92 Publications

Magnetic resonance imaging of salivary gland tumours: Key findings for imaging characterisation.

Eur J Radiol 2021 Jun 10;139:109716. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, Careggi University Hospital, Largo Brambilla 3, Florence, 50134, Italy. Electronic address:

Salivary gland tumours are rare, representing only 3% of all head and neck neoplasms, with the parotid gland being the most common site (80 %). The risk of malignancy is inversely proportional to the size of the gland: lesions arising in the sublingual or minor salivary glands are more likely to be malignant, whereas parotid gland neoplasms are mostly benign. Fine needle aspiration cytology and core needle biopsy are considered the most accurate modalities for the diagnosis of a salivary gland neoplasm; however, they are not always conclusive due to procedural sampling errors and for the presence of a cytological / histological overlap between benign and malignant tumours. Moreover, they cannot be easily performed for parotid deep portion localisation. The role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is growing and advanced techniques (diffusion-weighted and dynamic contrast-enhanced perfusion-weighted imaging) can provide useful additional information for the assessment of salivary gland neoplasms. The aim of this review is to present the main MRI and clinical features of salivary gland tumours to improve their comprehensive evaluation and characterisation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2021.109716DOI Listing
June 2021

Degenerative spine disease: Italian position paper on acquisition, interpretation and reporting of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Insights Imaging 2021 Feb 11;12(1):14. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Neuroradiology Department, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy.

Objective: To promote a better radiological interpretation of spine degeneration, a consistent standardization of the acquisition, interpretation and description of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) l findings.

Materials And Methods: In order to achieve this objective, a consensus among experts in imaging of degenerative spine disease (DSD) from Italian radiological societies (SIRM-Italian Society of Radiology, AINR-Italian Association of Neuroradiology) was achieved. The representatives of the Italian inter-societal working group examined the literature produced by European/American task forces on optimizing the study sequences, classification of degenerative disc changes, spondylo-arthrosis, osteochondrosis, synovial and ligament pathologies of the spinal column, and on canal and foraminal stenosis. The document-resulted from the consensus between experts-was then presented to the scientific societies of Neurosurgery (SINCH) and Orthopedics and Traumatology (SIOT) for their approval.

Results: This position paper presents a proposal for an optimized MRI protocol for studying DSD and provides a glossary of terms related to this pathology and indications on their use. The international terminological recommendations have been translated and adapted to the Italian language and clinical practice and clinical cases have been used to illustrate some of the main classifications.

Conclusions: This revision of international DSD guidelines/recommendations and consensus made it possible to (1) update the nomenclature to international standards and (2) harmonize the MRI protocol and description of radiological findings, adapting both (1, 2) to the Italian context. With this position paper we intend to contribute to an improvement of the communication among doctors and between physicians and their patients as well as the quality of the radiological reports.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13244-020-00952-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7878635PMC
February 2021

Quality assurance of quantitative cardiac T1-mapping in multicenter clinical trials - A T1 phantom program from the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy registry (HCMR) study.

Int J Cardiol 2021 05 31;330:251-258. Epub 2021 Jan 31.

dept. Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam UMC location VUmc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Quantitative cardiovascular magnetic resonance T1-mapping is increasingly used for myocardial tissue characterization. However, the lack of standardization limits direct comparability between centers and wider roll-out for clinical use or trials.

Purpose: To develop a quality assurance (QA) program assuring standardized T1 measurements for clinical use.

Methods: MR phantoms manufactured in 2013 were distributed, including ShMOLLI T1-mapping and reference T1 and T2 protocols. We first studied the T1 and T2 dependency on temperature and phantom aging using phantom datasets from a single site over 4 years. Based on this, we developed a multiparametric QA model, which was then applied to 78 scans from 28 other multi-national sites.

Results: T1 temperature sensitivity followed a second-order polynomial to baseline T1 values (R > 0.996). Some phantoms showed aging effects, where T1 drifted up to 49% over 40 months. The correlation model based on reference T1 and T2, developed on 1004 dedicated phantom scans, predicted ShMOLLI-T1 with high consistency (coefficient of variation 1.54%), and was robust to temperature variations and phantom aging. Using the 95% confidence interval of the correlation model residuals as the tolerance range, we analyzed 390 ShMOLLI T1-maps and confirmed accurate sequence deployment in 90%(70/78) of QA scans across 28 multiple centers, and categorized the rest with specific remedial actions.

Conclusions: The proposed phantom QA for T1-mapping can assure correct method implementation and protocol adherence, and is robust to temperature variation and phantom aging. This QA program circumvents the need of frequent phantom replacements, and can be readily deployed in multicenter trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.01.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7994017PMC
May 2021

The Role of Imaging in COVID-19 Pneumonia Diagnosis and Management: Main Positions of the Experts, Key Imaging Features and Open Answers.

J Cardiovasc Echogr 2020 Oct 27;30(Suppl 2):S25-S30. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Radiology, Ca' Foncello General Hospital, Treviso, Italy.

Lung imaging is widely involved in facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In fact, the COVID-19 infection may lead to a rapidly evolving and potentially fatal pneumonia. Moreover, computed tomography (CT) can be more sensitive than the COVID-19 reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test, especially at the beginning of the disease. Only patients with mild features consistent with COVID-19 infection, negative COVID-19 test, or positive COVID-19 test but at low risk for disease progression should avoid imaging. However, imaging becomes mandatory if respiratory symptoms worsen. A CT pattern classification has been designed to help both radiologists and clinicians. The typical pattern of COVID-19 is depicted by multifocal, bilateral, and peripheral ground-glass opacities (with or without consolidations or crazy paving) or findings of organizing pneumonia. Moreover, CT has demonstrated a prognostic role in patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. Lung ultrasounds (LUS) are an emergent tool in the diagnosis of the disease. The adoption of LUS combined to chest X-rays in COVID-19 in pneumonia diagnosis is an interesting prospect that needs to be confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcecho.jcecho_59_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811702PMC
October 2020

The Risks of Complications During Endoscopic Sinus Surgery in Cystic Fibrosis Patients: An Anatomical and Endoscopic Study.

Laryngoscope 2021 Jan 19. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Objective/hypothesis: An increasing proportion of adult cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is being referred to endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) in order to relieve the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Given that CFTR mutations profoundly alter sinonasal development, we want to explore the relationship between their peculiar surgical anatomy and the risk of postoperative complications.

Study Design: Retrospective case-control study.

Methods: Paranasal sinuses CT scans of 103 CF adult patients with CRS were compared to those belonging to a cohort of 100 non-CF adult patients to explore their anatomical differences. Secondly, CF and non-CF patients who received primary/revision ESS were analyzed in order to assess their preoperative CT scan in terms of surgically relevant variants, and according to the CLOSE checklist. Surgical outcomes were statistically compared in order to explore the differences between groups.

Results: CF group presented more frequently with smaller and less pneumatized paranasal sinuses and a higher Lund-Mckay score compared with controls. No anatomical differences emerged in terms of genotype stratification. Non-CF CRS patients undergoing ESS showed a significantly deeper olfactory fossa and a more frequent supraorbital pneumatization compared to CF patients (P < .001 and P = .031, respectively). Whereas this latter group underwent more often aggressive surgical procedures (P = .001), no difference in terms of postoperative adverse events was found (P = .620).

Conclusions: Despite receiving more often aggressive ESS procedures, adult CF patients do not show an increased risk of postoperative complication and this may be linked to a different proportion of anatomical and surgically-relevant variants.

Level Of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 2021.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lary.29404DOI Listing
January 2021

Texture analysis in the characterization of parotid salivary gland lesions: A study on MR diffusion weighted imaging.

Eur J Radiol 2021 Mar 7;136:109529. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence - Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Parotid lesions show overlaps of morphological findings, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values and types of time/intensity curve. This research aimed to evaluate the role of diffusion weighted imaging texture analysis in differentiating between benign and malignant parotid lesions and in characterizing pleomorphic adenoma (PA), Warthin tumor (WT), epithelial malignancy (EM), and lymphoma (LY).

Methods: Texture analysis of 54 parotid lesions (19 PA, 14 WT, 14 EM, and 7 LY) was performed on ADC map images. An ANOVA test was used to estimate both the difference between benign and malignant lesions and the texture feature differences among PA, WT, EM, and LY. A P-value≤0.01 was considered to be statistically significant. A cut-off value defined by ROC curve analysis was found for each statistically significant texture parameter. The diagnostic accuracy was obtained for each texture parameter with AUC ≥ 0.5. The agreement between each texture parameter and histology was calculated using the Cohen's kappa coefficient.

Results: The mean kappa values were 0.61, 0.34, 0.26, 0.17, and 0.48 for LY, EM, WT, PA, and benign vs. malignant lesions respectively. Long zone emphasis cut-off values >1.870 indicated EM with an accuracy of 81 % and values >2.630 revealed LY with an accuracy of 93 %. Long run emphasis values >1.050 and >1.070 indicated EM and LY with a diagnostic accuracy of 79% and 93% respectively.

Conclusions: Long zone emphasis and long run emphasis texture parameters allowed the identification of LY and the differentiation between benign and malignant lesions. WT and PA were not accurately recognized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2021.109529DOI Listing
March 2021

Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis in rheumatic autoimmune diseases: a systematic literature review.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 Dec;59(12):3645-3656

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence.

Objectives: Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) is characterized by predominantly upper lobe pleural and subjacent parenchymal fibrosis; PPFE features were described in patients with rheumatic autoimmune diseases (RAID). A systematic literature review was performed to investigate the prevalence, prognosis and potential association of PPFE with previous immunosuppression in RAID.

Methods: EMBASE, Web of Science and PubMed databases were questioned from inception to 1 September 2019. Articles published in English and addressing PPFE in patients with RAID were selected.

Results: Twenty out of 794 papers were selected with a total of 76 cases of RAID-PPFE patients (20 SSc, 9 RA, 6 IIM6 primary SS, 5 overlap syndromes, 3 ANCA-associated vasculitides, 2 granulomatosis with polyangiitis, 1 microscopic polyangiitis, 1 UCTD, 1 SLE, 1 GCA and 21 patients with non-specified RAID). Dyspnoea was the most frequently reported symptom (37/48 patients, 77%). Patients frequently presented with a restrictive pattern and decline in diffusing lung capacity for carbon monoxide. During the follow-up, 7/12 patients had progression at imaging, 22/39 presented a generic clinical worsening, 19/38 had a functional deterioration and 15/43 remained stable.

Conclusion: The present systematic literature review confirms that PPFE features are present in RAID. Rheumatologists should be aware of this new radiological pattern that holds a bad prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa451DOI Listing
December 2020

Infection or Autoimmunity? The Clinical Challenge of Interstitial Lung Disease in Systemic Sclerosis During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

J Rheumatol 2021 05 1;48(5):790-792. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Allergy and Rheumatology, Nippon Medical School Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3899/jrheum.200832DOI Listing
May 2021

Lung magnetic resonance imaging in systemic sclerosis: a new promising approach to evaluate pulmonary involvement and progression.

Clin Rheumatol 2021 May 7;40(5):1903-1912. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Division of Rheumatology AOUC, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Introduction/objectives: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is frequent and highly disabling in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not routinely used to evaluate the lung, due to poorer spatial resolution compared to high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT). We aimed to compare lung MRI signal with HRCT and evaluate the role of MRI in predicting ILD progression.

Methods: Thirty SSc patients underwent lung MRI and HRCT. STIR and T1 mapping sequences were acquired before and after gadolinium injection. Patients were classified as normal (group 1 with normal HRCT and MRI), discordant (group 2 without ILD signs on HRCT but areas of hyperintensity on MRI), and abnormal (group 3 with ILD signs on HRCT and areas of hyperintensity on MRI). Patients were followed up for ILD progression.

Results: Mean STIR and T1 values were different between the three groups (p < 0.0001). STIR values correlated with HRCT score (R = 0.79, p < 0.0001), lung ultrasound B-lines (R = 0.73, p < 0.0001), and %DLco (R = - 0.63, p = 0.0001). Nine events were recorded during a follow-up of 25 ± 20 months. Continuous STIR values were independently associated with events (HR 1.018; CI 1.005-1.031, p = 0.005). A STIR value >90 ms discriminated patients at a higher risk of worsening pulmonary involvement (HR 8.80; CI 1.81-42.74; p < 0.007).

Conclusions: Lung MRI can detect SSc-related ILD, with good correlations with other ILD markers. STIR values, independently of HRCT appearance, may predict worsening lung involvement. Lung MRI, although very preliminary, is a promising tool that in a near future could help selecting patients for an early treatment of SSc-related ILD and a more appropriate use of HRCT. Key points • Lung MRI has the potential to differentiate inflammation-predominant versus fibrosis-predominant lesions, but it is not currently used in routine clinical practice to assess SSc-related ILD. • Lung MRI STIR and T1 values are significantly different between patients with and without SSc-related ILD. STIR values, independently of HRCT appearance, are also able to predict worsening lung involvement over time. • These preliminary data suggest that, in a near future, MRI could support the choice for an early treatment of SSc-related ILD, as well as a more appropriate use of HRCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10067-020-05491-9DOI Listing
May 2021

Edema-like marrow signal intensity: a narrative review with a pictorial essay.

Skeletal Radiol 2021 Apr 7;50(4):645-663. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence - Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, Florence, 50134, Italy.

The term edema-like marrow signal intensity (ELMSI) represents a general term describing an area of abnormal signal intensity at MRI. Its appearance includes absence of clear margins and the possibility of exceeding well-defined anatomical borders (for example, physeal scars). We can define "ELMSI with unknown cause" an entity where the characteristic MR appearance is associated with the absence of specific signs of an underlying condition. However, it is more often an important finding indicating the presence of an underlying disease, and we describe this case as "ELMSI with known cause." It presents a dynamic behavior and its evolution can largely vary. It initially corresponds to an acute inflammatory response with edema, before being variably replaced by more permanent marrow remodeling changes such as fibrosis or myxomatous connective tissue that can occur over time. It is important to study ELMSI variations over time in order to evaluate the activity state and therapeutic response of an inflammatory chronic joint disease, the resolution of a trauma, and the severity of an osteoarthritis. We propose a narrative review of the literature dealing with various subjects about this challenging topic that is imaging, temporal evolution, etiology, differential diagnoses, and possible organization, together with a pictorial essay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00256-020-03632-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875957PMC
April 2021

Results of comprehensive cardiovascular diagnostic work-up in HIV positive patients.

Infez Med 2020 Sep;28(3):397-406

Department of Tropical and Infectious disease, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the HIV population accounts for a large proportion of morbidity and mortality and, with the increased life expectancy, the burden of CVD is expected to rise. Inflammation, immune dysfunction, side effects of HIV medications, high prevalence of other risk factors are the likely pathogenic mechanisms for accelerated atherosclerosis. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic yield of a cardiovascular multimodality diagnostic work-up in a contemporary cohort of HIV-infected patients. From November 2017 to October 2019, HIV infected patients were screened in a cardiovascular diagnostic work-up program including clinical history, physical examination, arterial blood pressure measurement, 12-lead ECG, and Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE). Advanced non-invasive cardiovascular imaging tests, like Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA), stress-echocardiography, Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR), were performed in patients with suspicion of chronic coronary syndrome (CCS) or non-ischemic heart disease (NIHD). 117 HIV-infected consecutive patients underwent this cardiovascular diagnostic work-up and were included in our study. Fifty-two patients (45%) had evidence of CVD. Of them, 22 presented Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), whereas 47 cases showed NIHD. In 17 cases both conditions were present. Among patients with CAD, 8 showed critical coronary stenosis; among them, 5 were treated with percutaneous coronary intervention, 2 with Aorto-Coronary By-Pass Grafting (CABG), and one with medical therapy. Hypertension and diabetes were significantly associated with the development of CVD (respectively p<0.001 and p< 0.05), while current smoking (p<0.02) and hypertension (p<0.007) were positively associated to CAD. A comprehensive cardiovascular diagnostic work-up including advanced multimodality diagnostic imaging modalities led to early detection of CVD in nearly half of an HIV population with immediate interventions required in 6.8% of them, and aggressive prevention treatment started in the remaining HIV patients.
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September 2020

MRI for Rectal Cancer Primary Staging and Restaging After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation Therapy: How to Do It During Daily Clinical Practice.

Eur J Radiol 2020 Oct 29;131:109238. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence-Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

Purpose: To provide a practical overview regarding the state-of-the-art of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol for rectal cancer imaging and interpretation during primary staging and restaging after neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (CRT), pointing out technical skills and findings that radiologists should consider for their reports during everyday clinical activity.

Method: Both 1.5T and 3.0T scanners can be used for rectal cancer evaluation, using pelvic phased array external coils. The standard MR protocol includes T2-weighted imaging of the pelvis, high-resolution T2-weighted sequences focused on the tumor and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). The mnemonic DISTANCE is helpful for the interpretation of MR images: DIS, for distance from the inferior part of the tumor to the anorectal-junction; T, for T staging; A, for anal sphincter complex status; N, for nodal staging; C, for circumferential resection margin status; and E, for extramural venous invasion.

Results: Primary staging with MRI is a cornerstone in the preoperative workup of patients with rectal cancer, because it provides clue information for decisions on the administration of CRT and surgical treatment. Restaging after CRT is crucial for treatment planning, and findings on post-CRT MRI correlate with the patient's prognosis and survival. It may be useful to remember the mnemonic word "DISTANCE" to check and describe all the relevant MRI findings necessary for an accurate radiological definition of tumor stage and response to CRT.

Conclusions: "DISTANCE" assessment for rectal cancer staging and treatment response estimation after CRT may be helpful as a checklist for a structured reporting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.109238DOI Listing
October 2020

Quantitative analysis of pulmonary vasculature in systemic sclerosis at spirometry-gated chest CT.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020 09 30;79(9):1210-1217. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Dept Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Objective: To prospectively investigate whether differences in pulmonary vasculature exist in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and how they are distributed in patients with different pulmonary function.

Methods: Seventy-four patients with SSc undergoing chest CT scan for interstitial lung disease (ILD) screening or follow-up were prospectively enrolled. A thorough clinical, laboratory and functional evaluation was performed the same day. Chest CT was spirometry gated at total lung capacity and images were analysed by two automated software programs to quantify emphysema, ILD patterns (ground-glass, reticular, honeycombing), and pulmonary vascular volume (PVV). Patients were divided in restricted (FVC% <80, DLco%<80), isolated DLco% reduction (iDLco- FVC%≥80, DLco%<80) and normals (FVC%≥80, DLco%≥80). Spearman ρ, Mann-Whitney tests and logistic regressions were used to assess for correlations, differences among groups and relationships between continuous variables.

Results: Absolute and lung volume normalised PVV (PVV/LV) correlated inversely with functional parameters and positively with all ILD patterns (ρ=0.75 with ground glass, ρ=0.68 with reticular). PVV/LV was the only predictor of DLco at multivariate analysis (p=0.007). Meanwhile, the reticular pattern prevailed in peripheral regions and lower lung thirds, PVV/LV prevailed in central regions and middle lung thirds. iDLco group had a significantly higher PVV/LV (2.2%) than normal (1.6%), but lower than restricted ones (3.8%).

Conclusions: Chest CT in SSc detects a progressive increase in PVV/LV as DLco decreases. Redistribution of perfusion to less affected lung regions rather than angiogenesis nearby fibrotic lung may explain the results. Further studies to ascertain whether the increase in PVV/LV reflects a real increase in blood volume are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-217359DOI Listing
September 2020

Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) in oncology: an Italian survey.

Radiol Med 2021 Feb 22;126(2):299-305. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Section of Radiological Sciences, Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Purpose: To perform a survey among all members of the Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology (SIRM) to assess how whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) is performed in oncologic patients in Italy.

Methods: On March 2019, we administered an online poll to all SIRM members about their use of WB-MRI in 2018 asking 15 questions regarding oncologic indications, imaging protocol, use of contrast media, experience in WB-MRI, duration of scan time and reporting time.

Results: Forty-eight members participated to the survey. WB-MRIs/total MRIs ratio was 1%. Lymphoma was the most common indication (17/48, 35%), followed by myeloma and prostate cancer, with these three tumors representing the most common indication in 39/48 of cases (81%). WB-MRI acquisition time and reporting time were 46-60 min in 22/48 centers (46%) and 20-30 min in 19/48 (40%), respectively. WB-MRIs were mostly performed in 1.5T scanners (43/48, 90%), with surface coils (22/48, 46%) being preferred to Q-body (15/48, 31%) and integrated coils (11/48, 23%). Contrast media were injected in 22/48 of the centers (46%), mainly used for breast cancer (13/22, 59%). DWI was the most used sequence (45/48, 94%), mostly with b800 (27/48, 56%), b0 (24/48, 50%) and b1000 (20/48, 42%) values. In about half of cases, radiologists started evaluating WB-MRI non-contrast morphologic sequences, then checking DWI and post-contrast images.

Conclusion: WB-MRI was mainly performed at 1.5T unit, with lymphoma, myeloma and prostate cancer having been the most common indications. The extreme variability in the choice of imaging protocols and use of contrast agents demonstrates the need of a standardization of WB-MRI application in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-020-01242-7DOI Listing
February 2021

Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in oncology: how we do it.

Radiol Med 2020 Dec 15;125(12):1288-1300. Epub 2020 May 15.

Struttura Complessa di Radiodiagnostica Universitaria (SOD 2), Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche Sperimentali e Cliniche, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is particularly attractive for clinical application in perfusion imaging thanks to the absence of ionizing radiation and limited volumes of contrast agent (CA) necessary. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) involves sequentially acquiring T-weighted images through an organ of interest during the passage of a bolus administration of CA. It is a particularly flexible approach to perfusion imaging as the signal intensity time course allows not only rapid qualitative assessment, but also quantitative measures of intrinsic perfusion and permeability parameters. We examine aspects of the T-weighted image series acquisition, CA administration, post-processing that constitute a DCE-MRI study in clinical practice, before considering some heuristics that may aid in interpreting the resulting contrast enhancement time series. While qualitative DCE-MRI has a well-established role in the diagnostic assessment of a range of tumours, and a central role in MR mammography, clinical use of quantitative DCE-MRI remains limited outside of clinical trials. The recent publication of proposals for standardized acquisition and analysis protocols for DCE-MRI by the Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance may be an opportunity to consolidate and advance clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-020-01220-zDOI Listing
December 2020

The role of diffusion-weighted and dynamic contrast enhancement perfusion-weighted imaging in the evaluation of salivary glands neoplasms.

Radiol Med 2020 Sep 7;125(9):851-863. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit N. 2, University of Florence - Careggi Hospital, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Objectives: To evaluate the association of magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (DwI) and dynamic contrast-enhanced perfusion-weighted imaging (DCE-PwI) with a temporal resolution of 5 s, wash-in < 120 s, and wash-out ratio > 30% in the evaluation of salivary glands neoplasms.

Methods: DwI and DCE-PwI of 92 salivary glands neoplasms were assessed. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was calculated by drawing three regions of interest with an average area of 0.30-0.40 cm on three contiguous axial sections. The time/intensity curve was generated from DCE-PwI images by drawing a region of interest that included at least 50% of the largest lesion section. Vessels, calcifications, and necrotic/haemorrhagic or cystic areas within solid components were excluded. The association of ADC ≥ 1.4 × 10 mm/s with type A curves (progressive wash-in) and ADC 0.9-1.4 × 10 mm/s with type C curves (rapid wash-in/slow wash-out) were tested as parameters of benignity and malignancy, respectively. Type B curve (rapid wash-in/rapid wash-out) was not used as a reference parameter.

Results: ADC ≥ 1.4 × 10 mm/s and type A curves were observed only in benign neoplasms. ADC of 0.9-1.4 × 10 mm/s and type C curves association showed specificity of 94.9% and positive predictive value of 81.8% for epithelial malignancies. The association of ADC < 0.9 × 10 mm/s with type B and C curves showed diagnostic accuracy of 94.6% and 100% for Warthin tumour and lymphoma, respectively.

Conclusions: ADC ≥ 1.4 × 10 mm/s and type A curves association was indicative of benignity. Lymphomas exhibited ADC < 0.7 × 10 mm/s and type C curves. The association of ADC < 0.9 × 10 mm/s and type B and C curves had accuracy 94.6% and 88.5% for Warthin tumour and epithelial malignancies, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-020-01182-2DOI Listing
September 2020

Imaging of mandibular fractures: a pictorial review.

Insights Imaging 2020 Feb 19;11(1):30. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence-Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Mandibular fractures are among the most common maxillofacial fractures observed in emergency rooms and are mainly caused by road accidents. The clinical features of mandibular fractures include malocclusion and loss of mandibular function. Panoramic radiography is usually limited to isolated lesions, whereas computed tomography is the tool of choice for all other facial traumatic events. No reference standard classification system for the different types of mandibular fractures is defined. Therapeutic options include a conservative approach or surgical treatment based on the anatomic area and the severity of fracture. The main purpose of this pictorial review is to illustrate a practical description of the pathophysiology of mandibular fractures and describe both the imaging techniques to recognise them and the therapeutic indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13244-020-0837-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031477PMC
February 2020

Electronic processing of digital panoramic radiography for the detection of apical periodontitis.

Radiol Med 2020 Feb 7;125(2):145-154. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence - Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of both digital complete and small portion of panoramic radiography (PAN) in the detection of clinically/surgically confirmed asymptomatic apical periodontitis (AP) lesions with and without endodontic treatment.

Methods: A total of 480 patients/teeth including 120 AP with and without endodontic treatment, and 120 healthy periapex with and without endodontic treatment were detected via CBCT using the periapical index system. Each diseased and healthy patient underwent PAN first and a CBCT scan within 40 days. All 480 cases were assessed by four different methods, as follows: complete PAN with clinical examination of each tooth available and not available, respectively, and small portion of PAN in which a root with crown and root without crown were displayed, respectively. Periapical index system was also used to assess AP by PAN. Accuracy for both complete and small portion of PAN with respect to CBCT was analyzed.

Results: The overall accuracy of the four methods for teeth with endodontic treatment (73.4) was higher than teeth without endodontic treatment (66.6). Accuracy of complete PAN and portion of PAN was 71.3 and 68.7, respectively. As regards teeth without endodontic treatment, accuracy was higher for complete PAN in the upper/lower incisive area and for small portion of PAN in the upper molar area. No difference was found in teeth with endodontic treatment.

Conclusion: Complete and small portion of PAN showed greater accuracy in the upper/lower incisive area and upper molar area of untreated teeth, respectively, whereas no difference was found in treated teeth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-019-01102-zDOI Listing
February 2020

Spirometric assessment of emphysema presence and severity as measured by quantitative CT and CT-based radiomics in COPD.

Respir Res 2019 May 23;20(1):101. Epub 2019 May 23.

Section of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Careggi University Hospital, University of Florence, Largo A Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Background: The mechanisms underlying airflow obstruction in COPD cannot be distinguished by standard spirometry. We ascertain whether mathematical modeling of airway biomechanical properties, as assessed from spirometry, could provide estimates of emphysema presence and severity, as quantified by computed tomography (CT) metrics and CT-based radiomics.

Methods: We quantified presence and severity of emphysema by standard CT metrics (VIDA) and co-registration analysis (ImbioLDA) of inspiratory-expiratory CT in 194 COPD patients who underwent pulmonary function testing. According to percentages of low attenuation area below - 950 Hounsfield Units (%LAA) patients were classified as having no emphysema (NE) with %LAA < 6, moderate emphysema (ME) with %LAA ≥ 6 and < 14, and severe emphysema (SE) with %LAA ≥ 14. We also obtained stratified clusters of emphysema CT features by an automated unsupervised radiomics approach (CALIPER). An emphysema severity index (ESI), derived from mathematical modeling of the maximum expiratory flow-volume curve descending limb, was compared with pulmonary function data and the three CT classifications of emphysema presence and severity as derived from CT metrics and radiomics.

Results: ESI mean values and pulmonary function data differed significantly in the subgroups with different emphysema degree classified by VIDA, ImbioLDA and CALIPER (p < 0.001 by ANOVA). ESI differentiated NE from ME/SE CT-classified patients (sensitivity 0.80, specificity 0.85, AUC 0.86) and SE from ME CT-classified patients (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.87, AUC 0.88).

Conclusions: Presence and severity of emphysema in patients with COPD, as quantified by CT metrics and radiomics can be estimated by mathematical modeling of airway function as derived from standard spirometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12931-019-1049-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6533715PMC
May 2019

How radiology can help pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosis: analysis of 49 patients.

Radiol Med 2019 Sep 13;124(9):838-845. Epub 2019 May 13.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Purpose: To identify the most frequent radiological findings of pulmonary tuberculosis using CT of the chest, to determine those with the highest degree of correlation, and, if possible, to identify the most suggestive radiological findings for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) positive disease.

Materials And Methods: The radiological and clinical data of 49 patients submitted to CT during diagnosis were retrospectively analysed. The association between findings was assessed using Fisher's exact test, while correlation at CT scan was evaluated with the Spearman analysis.

Results: Bronchiectasis/bronchioloectasis (89.8%), nodule(s) (81.6%), tree-in-bud (TIB), and consolidation (79.6% each) figured among the most common parenchymal findings. Lymphadenopathy (26.5%) was the most common nodal finding. TIB and cavity showed the highest correlation (r = 0.577), followed by TIB and bronchi(olo)ectasis (r = 0.498), TIB and consolidation (r = 0.497), nodule(s), and ground glass opacity (r = 0.488). High correlation was found in only the seven most frequent parenchymal findings. Consolidation, TIB, and cavity were useful to predict the AFB stain positivity.

Conclusions: Our series confirms the extreme heterogeneity of pulmonary tuberculosis. It also proves there are couple of findings which can drive us to the right diagnosis. While a triad of findings predicts AFB positivity, we have not found any predictive sign of AFB negativity; consequently, all patients with suspected imaging and clinical findings for TB should be isolated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-019-01040-wDOI Listing
September 2019

State of the art in post-mortem computed tomography: a review of current literature.

Virchows Arch 2019 Aug 1;475(2):139-150. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit No. 2, University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Computed tomography (CT) and other advanced diagnostic imaging techniques are gaining popularity in forensic pathology. This paper aims to define and offer complete and easily accessible "state of the art" for post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT), by reviewing the latest international literature. The proposed format answers the "five Ws" that follows: (1) What: We report the different kinds of CT scan and settings generally used in post-mortem imaging. The machine most employed is a 8/16-slice spiral CT, usually without contrast enhancement. The introduction of some variables, such as CT-guided biopsies, post-mortem ventilation, and PMCT angiography is becoming increasingly useful. (2) Why: Literature highlights the many advantages of PMCT. Limitations can be partly overcome by modern imaging techniques and combined evaluation with traditional autopsy. (3) Who: Most authors agree that collaboration between different specialists, i.e., radiologists and pathologists, is the best scenario, since radiologic, anatomic, and forensic skills are needed simultaneously. The most important human factor is "teamwork". (4) When: Literature provides no absolute limits for performing PMCT. Some authors have tested PMCT as a replacement for conventional autopsy but found some limitations. Others evaluated PMCT as a guide or screening tool for traditional autopsy. (5) Where: Many research groups around the world have performed studies on the use of PMCT. Although few countries adopt PMCT in routine practice, its use is rapidly spreading.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-019-02562-4DOI Listing
August 2019

Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) in oncology: recommendations and key uses.

Radiol Med 2019 Mar 14;124(3):218-233. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Department of Radiology, IEO, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

The past decade has witnessed a growing role and increasing use of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI). Driving these successes are developments in both hardware and software that have reduced overall examination times and significantly improved MR imaging quality. In addition, radiologists and clinicians have continued to find promising new applications of this innovative imaging technique that brings together morphologic and functional characterization of tissues. In oncology, the role of WB-MRI has expanded to the point of being recommended in international guidelines for the assessment of several cancer histotypes (multiple myeloma, melanoma, prostate cancer) and cancer-prone syndromes (Li-Fraumeni and hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma syndromes). The literature shows growing use of WB-MRI for the staging and follow-up of other cancer histotypes and cancer-related syndromes (including breast cancer, lymphoma, neurofibromatosis, and von Hippel-Lindau syndromes). The main aim of this review is to examine the current scientific evidence for the use of WB-MRI in oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-018-0955-7DOI Listing
March 2019

A Large Rheumatoid Nodule Mimicking Hepatic Malignancy.

Hepatology 2019 03 8;69(3):1345-1348. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.30261DOI Listing
March 2019

Is Panoramic Radiography an Accurate Imaging Technique for the Detection of Endodontically Treated Asymptomatic Apical Periodontitis?

J Endod 2018 Oct 25;44(10):1500-1508. Epub 2018 Aug 25.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit, University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.

Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of panoramic radiography (PAN) for the detection of clinically/surgically confirmed apical periodontitis (AP) in root canal-treated teeth using cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging as the reference standard.

Methods: Two hundred forty patients with endodontically treated AP (diseased group) were detected via CBCT imaging using the periapical index system. They were divided into groups of 20 each according to lesion size (2-4.5 mm and 4.6-7 mm) and anatomic area (incisor, canine/premolar, and molar) in both the upper and lower arches. Another 240 patients with root filling and a healthy periapex (healthy group) were selected. All diseased and healthy patients underwent PAN first and a CBCT scan within 40 days. The periapical index system was also used to assess AP using PAN. Sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for PAN images with respect to CBCT imaging were analyzed. The k value was calculated to assess both the interobserver reliability for PAN and the agreement between PAN and CBCT.

Results: PAN showed low sensitivity (48.8), mediocre negative predictive value (64.7), good diagnostic accuracy (71.3), and high positive predictive value (88.6) and specificity (93.8). Both interobserver reliability for PAN and agreement between PAN and CBCT were moderate (k = 0.58 and 0.42, respectively). The best identified AP was located in the lower canine/premolar and molar areas, whereas the worst identified AP was located in the upper/lower incisor area and upper molar area.

Conclusions: PAN showed good diagnostic accuracy, high specificity, and low sensitivity for the detection of endodontically treated AP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joen.2018.07.003DOI Listing
October 2018

Cardiac magnetic resonance in patients with mitral valve prolapse: Focus on late gadolinium enhancement and T1 mapping.

Eur Radiol 2019 Mar 7;29(3):1546-1554. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence - Careggi University Hospital, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Objectives: To evaluate the incidence of late-gadolinium-enhancement (LGE) in mitral valve prolapse (MVP) (in the absence of other heart/valvular diseases), and its association with the degree of mitral regurgitation (MR) and/or with complex ventricular arrhythmia (ComVA), and to analyse the role of T1 mapping in the evaluation of MVP patients.

Methods: We included all consecutive patients with MVP who underwent during 2015-2016 a comprehensive cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) examination at 1.5 T. We evaluated the association of LGE with the MR fraction and the presence of ComVA. We compared myocardial T1-native and post-contrast times and extracellular volume (ECV)-values between MVP patients, both with and without LGE, and the control group.

Results: Thirty-four patients with MVP were selected (56 ± 14 years old, 59% male). All patients had MR; LGE and ComVA were present in 15 (44%) and 11 (34%) patients, respectively. Significant associations of LGE with both MR severity and ComVA were not found (p=0.72 and 0.79, respectively). T1 mapping confirmed the presence of LGE in all cases. In one patient a thin signal alteration resulted in more evident T1 mapping than LGE. Patients with MVP had higher native T1-values, lower post-contrast T1-values and increased ECV-values compared with controls (p=0.01, 0.01 and 0.00, respectively).

Conclusion: Focal fibrosis with LGE was found in about half the MVP patients and it was independent of the degree of the valve dysfunction and the presence of ComVA. T1 mapping allows diffuse myocardial wall alterations to be identified, but no significant associations between the MR severity and ComVA and T1/ECV values were found.

Key Points: • MVP is a common valvulopathy affecting 2-3% of the general population. • MVP has been associated with an increased risk of arrhythmic complications and sudden cardiac death. • CMR is a non-invasive imaging method that provides a precise and more accurate assessment of patients with MVP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-018-5634-5DOI Listing
March 2019

Radiologic Cerebral Reperfusion at 24 h Predicts Good Clinical Outcome.

Transl Stroke Res 2019 04 14;10(2):178-188. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Struttura Organizzativa Dipartimentale di Neuroradiologia, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Sperimentali e Cliniche, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, 3 Largo Brambilla, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Cerebral reperfusion and arterial recanalization are radiological features of the effectiveness of thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients. Here, an investigation of the prognostic role of early recanalization/reperfusion on clinical outcome was performed. In AIS patients (n = 55), baseline computerized tomography (CT) was performed ≤ 8 h from symptom onset, whereas CT determination of reperfusion/recanalization was assessed at 24 h. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were used to correlate reperfusion/recanalization with radiological (i.e., hemorrhagic transformation, ischemic core, and penumbra volumes) and clinical outcomes (assessed as National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] reduction ≥ 8 points or a NIHSS ≤ 1 at 24 h and as modified Rankin Scale [mRS] < 2 at 90 days). At 24 h, patients achieving radiological reperfusion were n = 24, while the non-reperfused were n = 31. Among non-reperfused, n = 15 patients were recanalized. Radiological reperfusion vs. recanalization was also confirmed by early increased levels of circulating inflammatory biomarkers (i.e., serum osteopontin). In multivariate analysis, ischemic lesion volume reduction was associated with both recanalization (β = 0.265; p = 0.014) and reperfusion (β = 0.461; p < 0.001), but only reperfusion was independently associated with final infarct volume (β = - 0.333; p = 0.007). Only radiological reperfusion at 24 h predicted good clinical response at day 1 (adjusted OR 16.054 [1.423-181.158]; p = 0.025) and 90-day good functional outcome (adjusted OR 25.801 [1.483-448.840]; p = 0.026). At ROC curve analysis the AUC of reperfusion was 0.777 (p < 0.001) for the good clinical response at 24 h and 0.792 (p < 0.001) for 90-day clinical outcome. Twenty-four-hour radiological reperfusion assessed by CT is associated with good clinical response on day 1 and good functional outcome on day 90 in patients with ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12975-018-0637-8DOI Listing
April 2019

Radiation dose in non-dental cone beam CT applications: a systematic review.

Radiol Med 2018 Oct 5;123(10):765-777. Epub 2018 Jun 5.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence - Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Background: Radiation-induced health risks are broadly questioned in the literature. As cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is increasingly used in non-dental examinations, its effective dose needs to be known. This study aimed to review the published evidence on effective dose of non-dental CBCT for diagnostic use by focusing on dosimetry system used to estimate dose.

Materials And Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed on 12 November 2017. All the literature up to this date was included. The PubMed and web of science databases were searched. Studies were screened for inclusion based on defined inclusion and exclusion criteria according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews.

Results: Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in our review. Thirteen and two of them examined one and two anatomical areas, respectively. The anatomical areas were: ear (6), paranasal sinuses (4), ankle (3), wrist (2), knee (1), and cervical spine (1). Effective dose was estimated by different methods: (i) RANDO phantom associated with thermoluminescent dosimeters (6), metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor dosimeters (3), and optically stimulated luminescent dosimeters (1). (ii) Scanner outputs, namely computed tomography dose index (1) and dose area product (2). (iii) Monte Carlo simulations (2).

Conclusion: CBCT of extremities, cervical spine, ears and paranasal sinuses was found to be a low-dose volumetric imaging technique. Effective doses varied significantly because of different exposure settings of CBCT-units and different dosimetry systems used to estimate dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-018-0910-7DOI Listing
October 2018

Complete written/oral information about dose exposure in CT: is it really useful to guarantee the patients' awareness about radiation risks?

Radiol Med 2018 Oct 31;123(10):788-798. Epub 2018 May 31.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Radiodiagnostic Unit n. 2, University of Florence - Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Aims And Objectives: According to the European directive 2013/59/Euratom, starting from February 2018, the information relating to patient exposure will be part of computed tomography (CT) reports, but the impact of this information on patients has not been deeply evaluated. Aim of our study was to evaluate patients' perception of radiation exposure related to routine CT and their understanding after communication of their dose exposure.

Materials And Methods: A survey, investigating patient's knowledge of radiation dose, was given to all adult patients (> 18 years) undergoing a CT examination both before and after CT scan. The first survey was the same for all patients. After CT scan, a second questionnaire was administered (after receiving the CT dose bill report and medical written and/or explanation about ionizing radiation risk). Results of the pre- and post-CT questionnaires responses were compared according to demographics characteristics and among the four post-CT groups.

Results: For some questions, statistically significant differences were found between the two centres. Seventy per cent of the patients answered that the presence of CT parameters in the report is considered useful. Even if not always statistically significant there was a slight increase in awareness of ionizing radiation risk comparing the pre- and post-CT surveys. The group that had both written and oral explanations had a better comprehension of CT dose bill (group III vs. I, p = 0.002).

Conclusion: The way of communication of ionizing radiation risks did not affect the results of the post-CT survey. Indeed, the interest in the topic did not rise in the post-CT survey in any of the group. Adequate information about ionizing radiation risks provided together with dose exposure information may be useful. However, there is not a standardized better way of communicating information on ionizing radiation risks due to CT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-018-0909-0DOI Listing
October 2018

MRI features of primary hepatic lymphoma.

Abdom Radiol (NY) 2018 09;43(9):2277-2287

Department of Radiology, University of Brescia "Spedali Civili", P.le Spedali Civili 1, 25123, Brescia, Italy.

Purpose: Our retrospective study sought to describe the spectrum of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of primary hepatic lymphoma (PHL) by analyzing its morphological aspects, signal intensity before and after contrast agent (CA) administration, and diffusion-weighted imaging (DwI) with the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on 25 patients with pathologically proven PHL who underwent MRI between January 2011 and December 2016. For the evaluation of the ADC, we used a control group of 87 patients (22 with hepatocellular carcinoma, 15 with cholangiocellular carcinoma, 23 with liver metastasis, 22 with focal nodular hyperplasia, and 5 with adenoma). Two radiologists evaluated the morphological features, the signal intensity before and after CA administration, and the DwI. The sensitivity and specificity of the ADC values in distinguishing the PHL lesions from other hepatic lesions were calculated by analyzing the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.

Results: Twenty-one patients had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (18 had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and three had mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue) and four had Hodgkin's lymphoma (nodular sclerosis). The PHL had a variable morphologic distribution (17 focal mass and eight multiple nodules) and mainly an insinuative growth (24/25). Usually, PHL was usually hypointense on the T1-weighted images (23/25) and hyperintense on the T2-weighted images (21/25); non-specific dynamic enhancement was found after CA administration, but in the hepatobiliary phase, PHL is mainly hypointense (92%). All PHLs showed a signal restriction in the DwI. The sensitivity and specificity in the differential diagnosis between PHL and the other malignant lesions were respectively 81.7% and 100%, with applying an ADC cut-off value of 0.918 × 10 mm/s.

Conclusion: Although PHL is a rare disease and biopsy is still required, an MRI could be indicative. In our series, PHL showed an insinuative growth, hypointense signal in the hepatobiliary phase, signal restriction in the DwI, and an ADC value lower than that of the other hepatic lesions analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00261-018-1476-5DOI Listing
September 2018