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Incidental findings arising from imaging research have important implications for patient safety. Magnetic resonance imaging is widespread in multiple sclerosis (MS) studies and care, yet the prevalence rate of incidental findings in MS is poorly defined. The absence of such reports in the MS literature suggests that such findings may be deemed inappropriate for documentation in research publications, or possibly, not fully reported at all.
We sought to document incidental findings from a study designed to detect features of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) in MS patients and control subjects.
Magnetic resonance images were obtained as part of a prospective study conducted between October 2010 and September 2012. Patients with MS (relapsing-remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive), clinically isolated syndromes, and neuromyelitis optica and age/sex-matched healthy controls were included. All images were reviewed by neuro-radiologists for quality-control purposes.
Magnetic resonance imaging was successfully obtained in 166 participants (110 patients, 56 controls). Incidental abnormalities (n = 33) were detected in 15% of patients (n = 17) and 27% of controls (n = 15), comprising 19% overall (n = 32).
The prevalence of incidental findings from the MS population was not significantly different from the control population. However, the overall prevalence was high and warrants a careful management strategy for future imaging studies.
To determine the frequency of early computed tomographic (CT) findings of ischemia and their relationship to symptom duration and neurologic dysfunction within 3 hours of ischemic stroke.
The CT scans of 39 acute stroke patients were evaluated for signs of early ischemic change within 3 hours of symptom onset and without knowledge of the patient’s neurologic deficit or results of a 24 hour follow-up post-thrombolysis CT. Early CT signs of acute ischemic change or thromboembolism were hypoattenuation of the insular ribbon, obscuration of the lentiform nucleus, cortical hypodensity/effacement, and hyperdense middle cerebral artery sign.
Signs of acute ischemic change were seen on the baseline scan in 25/39 patients (64%). Hypoattenuation of the insular ribbon was seen in 11 patients, obscuration of the lentiform nucleus in 13, cortical hypodensity/effacement in 13, and hyperdense middle cerebral artery sign in 7. The prevalence of early ischemic signs was directly associated with increasing neurologic disability at the time of presentation. No clear relationship existed between symptom duration and the presence of CT signs.
Evidence of cerebral ischemia is frequently seen on CT within 3 hours of symptom onset. The degree of neurologic disability correlates with CT signs of ischemia.
Long-term glioblastoma multiforme survivors (LTGBMS) are uncommon. The frequency which these occur in an unselected population and factors which produce these unusually long survivors are unknown.
To determine in a population- based study 1) the frequency of LTGBMS in a population and 2) identify which patient, treatment or tumor characteristics would predict which glioblastoma (GBM) patient would become a LTGBMS.
The Alberta Cancer Registry was used to identify all patients diagnosed with GBM in southern Alberta between 1/1/75 - 12/31/91. Patient charts were reviewed and histology re-examined by a blinded neuropathologist. LTGBMS were defined as GBM patients surviving ≥ 3 years after diagnosis. Each LTGBMS was compared to three age-, gender-, and year of diagnosis-matched controls to compare patient, treatment, and tumor factors to GBM patients without long-term survival.
There were 279 GBMs diagnosed in the study period. Five (1.8%) survived ≥ three years (range, 3.2-15.8 years). Seven additional long-term survivors, who carried a diagnosis of GBM, were excluded after neuropathologic review; the most common revised diagnosis was malignant oligodendroglioma. LTGBMS (avg. age = 45 years) were significantly younger when compared to all GBM patients (avg. age = 59 years, p - 0.0001) diagnosed in the study period. LTGBMS had a higher KPS at diagnosis (p = 0.001) compared to controls. Tumors from LTGBMS tended to have fewer mitoses and a lower Ki-67 cellular proliferative index compared to controls. Radiation-induced dementia was common and disabling in LTGBMS.
These data highlight the dismal prognosis for GBM patients who have both a short median survival and very small chance (1.8%) of long-term survival. The LTGBMS were younger, had a higher performance status, and their tumors tended to proliferate less rapidly than control GBM patients. When long-term survival does occur it is often accompanied by severe treatment-induced dementia.
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