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The Usefulness of Sonohysterography

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This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of how to become a pharmacy technician. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address.

A recent study conducted at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia has found that sonohysterography (SHG) is a highly effective transvaginal ultrasound technique that improves the ability of doctors to diagnose adenomyosis, a condition that causes severe pelvic pain combined with abnormal and unexplained vaginal bleeding.

SHG is a relatively new technique that allows medical practitioners to view a woman’s uterine cavity more clearly. A soft, plastic catheter is placed in the cervix in conjunction with transvaginal ultrasound, and a sterile saline infusion passed through this tube expands the uterus and also provides a contrast to the lining, thus giving doctors a better idea of what the problem really is.

  • Sonohysterography is especially useful in treating women with infertility – it helps determine the presence of polyps, fibroids or tumors that prevent conception.
  • Besides, it allows doctors to examine the uterine cavity before any surgery like a hysterectomy or a D&C procedure.
  • It also helps in investigating unexplained infertility and repeated miscarriages.
  • It’s a good diagnostic tool to explore unexplained vaginal bleeding in pre and post menopausal women.
  • It allows examination and assessment of the endometrium and reveals endometrial abnormalities.
  • A sonohysterography that’s performed before a suggested hysterectomy can sometimes help you avoid the hysterectomy altogether. So you’re saved the cost, mental stress, physical pain, and recovery from a surgery.

The main advantages of a sonohysterography are:

  • It’s painless and can be administered in a normal ultrasound scan room
  • It does not require the patient to be sedated or under the influence of anesthesia.
  • It is not as expensive as an MRI scan which is normally used to investigate abnormal bleeding
  • It is commonly available at most healthcare facilities.
  • It helps avoid invasive diagnostic procedures
  • It has no side effects and is not very uncomfortable for the patient
  • Diagnosis is quick
  • There are no complications to be worried about

Reference:
Verma SK, Lev-Toaff AS, Baltarowich OH, Bergin D, Verma M, Mitchell DG
Clinical Observations. Adenomyosis: Sonohysterography with MRI Correlation
Am. J. Roentgenol. ; 192: 10.2214/AJR.08.1405

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Science Museum London

If you happen to find yourself in London, be sure to visit the Science Museum. It is great for anybody who loves science in general, but also for those interested in medicine. There are a lot of things to see regarding medicine scattered around the vast spaces of this museum. On the ground floor you will find the exhibition entitled “Making the Modern World” which features many inventions that shaped our world as we know it. Among these exhibits there are a lot of medical devices like the first CT and MRI scanners or ECG machine. Further along, on the third floor there is the “Health Matters” exhibition, “Glimpses of Medical History” is on the fourth floor, and finally “The Science and Art of Medicine” exhibition is on the fifth floor. Museum of Science in London is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00 and it offers free admission to all visitors. It is located on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, and can be easily reached using the public transport.

Take a look at some photos from Science Museum in my gallery.

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DIY navigation system for surgeons

Maki Sugimoto
Apple brings a story of professor Maki Sugimoto of Teikyo University Chiba Medical Center, a gastrointestinal surgeon, who wanted a better approach to navigation for planning and performing both aggressive and minimally invasive surgeries. He uses Apple computers with OsiriX imaging software to project 3D images onto a patient’s abdomen for both laparoscopic and midline open surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery

For patients with early-stage gastric or colonic cancer, the surgical team typically opts for minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. With the patient anesthetized, Sugimoto projects OsiriX-generated 3D images onto the body surface of the patient with an Epson EMP-1715 projector. Using a motion-sensing wireless remote, Sugimoto uses physiological markers (such as the navel) to register the image to the patient’s body. Then using a Color Look Up Table (CLUT) feature in OsiriX, he makes the skin of the image transparent. The display now shows the patient’s internal body parts and the area that he will need to operate on.

Open surgery

“The 3D visualization shows us relationships between the cancer and the arterial vessels and other surrounding organs,” says Sugimoto. “It also allows us to see the extent of the spread of cancer. When a patient has upper biliary (bile duct) cancer, we have to cut the liver. If the patient has lower bile duct cancer we have to remove the pancreatic head and duodenum. The HBP system is very complex; that’s why 3D visualization in the OR is so crucial. When doing a midline open surgery, the surgeon can only see the organs from the top. With OsiriX on the Mac, surgeons can rotate and see the surrounding organs in 3D to guide them during surgery.

Visit Apple to learn more and see more pictures and videos.

Image credits – Apple Inc.

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Two Medical Winners of Apple Design Awards 2008

The Apple Design Awards is a special event taking place at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The event is meant to recognize technical excellence, innovation, and outstanding achievement in software development. This year, two medical applications managed to win awards.

MIM for iPhone, which I presented in an earlier post, is Best iPhone Healthcare & Fitness Application.
MIM software for iPhone

MIM for iPhone is a revolutionary medical imaging application that provides multi-planar reconstruction of fused data sets such as PET/CT, which are crucial in diagnosing cancer. MIM lets physicians retrieve patient images wirelessly on their iPhone or iPod touch, manipulate and adjust them using simple gestures to isolate crucial pieces of data, and gather important data for a patient diagnosis on their rounds. MIM’s features include true dynamic multi-modality image fusion, multi-planar volumetric image reconstruction, linear measurement tools, Quantitative Standardized Uptake Value ROI, fusion blending between PET/CT and PET/MR, and display of PET, CT, MR, and Nuclear Medicine images. MIM takes advantage of technologies including Core Animation, Foundation/Core Foundation, UIKit, WebKit, and the accelerometer.

Macnification 1.0 won the award of Best Mac OS X Leopard User Experience.

Macnification

Working with scientific images has never been easier or more rewarding than with Macnification 1.0, the new scientific image management solution for Mac OS X Leopard. Analogous to an Aperture for digital microscopy, Macnification helps scientists, engineers, and academicians import, organize, annotate, analyze, modify, compare, and publish huge volumes of microscopic images in a wide variety of formats. Macnification takes advantage of the advanced capabilities and efficiencies of Objective-C 2.0 and leverages an abundance of Mac OS X frameworks, including Image Kit for image handling and display, Core Image for fast, non-destructive image modification, QTKit for the creation and display of time-lapse Quick Time movies, Core Animation for live-updating stack views, and Core Data for automatic data saving and the implementation of Macnification’s complex relational data model.

Macnification also goes the extra mile and integrates with numerous Mac OS X technologies allowing users to search for images using Spotlight, preview images using Quick Look, export image measurements to Numbers (and Excel), and back up their entire image library with Time Machine. What really puts Macnification over the top is its gorgeous, easy-to-use user interface. Closely adhering to Apple’s Mac OS X Human Interface Guidelines, Macnification focuses on exactly what its audience needs, while surprising and delighting users with its subtle use of animation, appropriate use of transparency, and unwavering attention to aesthetic details.

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Native medical applications for iPhone

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is taking place this week in San Francisco. Today, as a part of it, we saw yet another legendary keynote from Steve Jobs. It was all about the new iPhone, which is now faster, richer with new features and more affordable. Substantial part of the keynote was dedicated to the developers of native applications for iPhone, who had the chance to demonstrate their applications soon to be available through the iPhone app store. App store is launching in a month and will enable you to download and install third party applications to your iPhone. These are some great news for all iPhone users, but especially to those interested in medicine. It seams that we have a lot to look for, as some great applications will be awaiting for us as soon as the app store opens.

Two applications presented at today’s keynote were related to medicine, and you can see a video of these demonstrations at the end of this post.

Modality will offer interactive flash cards for medical students, but also a lot more. On their website they also prepared a lot of other interactive learning applications for medical students, as well as healthcare professionals. What a great way to learn!

MIMvista has, on the other hand, presented a really powerful radiology application. It is incredible that such an application can run so smoothly on a phone. Currently there are no additional information on their website about this iPhone application, but you can learn more about their applications for PC’s to give you a general idea what to expect.

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