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- PublicationEducation and training in radiation protection in Europe: results from the EURAMED Rocc-n-Roll project survey(Springer, 2023-04-01)Purpose: To analyse the existing radiation protection (RP) education and training (E&T) capabilities in the European Union and identify associated needs, problems and challenges. Method: An online survey was disseminated via the EURAMED Rocc-n-Roll consortium network and prominent medical societies in the field of radiological research. The survey sections analyse the RP E&T during undergraduate, residency/internship and continuous professional development; RP E&T problems and legal implementation. Differences were analysed by European geographic regions, profession, years of professional experience and main area of practice/research. Results: The majority of the 550 respondents indicated that RP topics are part of undergraduate curricula in all courses for their profession and country (55%); however, hands-on practical training is not included according to 30% of the respondents. The lack of E&T, practical aspects in current E&T, and mandatory continuing E&T were considered the major problems. The legal requirement that obtained higher implementation score was the inclusion of the practical aspects of medical radiological procedures on education (86%), and lower score was obtained for the inclusion of RP E&T on medical and dental school curriculums (61%). Conclusions: A heterogeneity in RP E&T during undergraduate, residency/internship and continuous professional development is evident across Europe. Differences were noted per area of practice/research, profession, and European geographic region. A large variation in RP E&T problem rating was also obtained.
- PublicationCarotid Plaque Inflammation Imaged by 18 F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography and Risk of Early Recurrent Stroke(Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2019-07)Background and Purpose-Plaque inflammation contributes to stroke and coronary events. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) identifies plaque inflammation-related metabolism. Almost no prospective data exist on the relationship of carotid 18F-FDG uptake and early recurrent stroke. Methods-We did a multicenter prospective cohort study BIOVASC (Biomarkers/Imaging Vulnerable Atherosclerosis in Symptomatic Carotid disease) of patients with carotid stenosis and recent stroke/transient ischemic attack with 90-day follow-up. On coregistered carotid 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography angiography, 18F-FDG uptake was expressed as maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) in the axial single hottest slice. We then conducted a systematic review of similar studies and pooled unpublished individual-patient data with 2 highly similar independent studies (Dublin and Barcelona). We analyzed the association of SUVmax with all recurrent nonprocedural stroke (before and after PET) and with recurrent stroke after PET only. Results-In BIOVASC (n=109, 14 recurrent strokes), after adjustment (for age, sex, stenosis severity, antiplatelets, statins, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and smoking), the hazard ratio for recurrent stroke per 1 g/mL SUVmax was 2.2 (CI, 1.1-4.5; P=0.025). Findings were consistent in the independent Dublin (n=52, hazard ratio, 2.2; CI, 1.1-4.3) and Barcelona studies (n=35, hazard ratio, 2.8; CI, 0.98-5.5). In the pooled cohort (n=196), 37 recurrent strokes occurred (29 before and 8 after PET). Plaque SUVmax was higher in patients with all recurrence (P<0.0001) and post-PET recurrence (P=0.009). The fully adjusted hazard ratio of any recurrent stroke was 2.19 (CI, 1.41-3.39; P<0.001) and for post-PET recurrent stroke was 4.57 (CI, 1.5-13.96; P=0.008). Recurrent stroke risk increased across SUVmax quartiles (log-rank P=0.003). The area under receiver operating curve for all recurrence was 0.70 (CI, 0.59-0.78) and for post-PET recurrence was 0.80 (CI, 0.64-0.96). Conclusions-Plaque inflammation-related 18F-FDG uptake independently predicted future recurrent stroke post-PET. Although further studies are needed, 18F-FDG PET may improve patient selection for carotid revascularization and suggest that anti-inflammatory agents may have benefit for poststroke vascular prevention.
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- PublicationArtificial intelligence: The opinions of radiographers and radiation therapists in Ireland(Elsevier, 2021-10-01)Introduction: Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into medical imaging is much debated. Diagnostic Radiographers (DRs) and Radiation Therapists (RTTs) are at the forefront of this technological leap, thus an understanding of their views, in particular changes to their current roles, is key to safe, optimal implementation. Methods: An online survey was designed, including themes: role changes, clinical priorities for AI, patient benefits, and education. It was distributed nationally in the Republic of Ireland via the national professional body, clinical management, and social media. Results: 318 DRs and 77 RTTs participated. Priority areas for development included quality assurance, clinical audit, radiation dose optimisation, and improved workflow for DRs and treatment planning algorithm optimisation, clinical audit, and post processing for RTTs. There was resistance regarding AI use for patient facing roles and final image interpretation. 27.6% of DRs and 40.3% of RTTs currently use AI clinically and 46.1% of DRs and 41.2% of RTTs anticipate reduced staffing levels with AI. 64.9% of DRs and 70.6% of RTTs felt AI will be positive for patients, with the majority promoting AI regulation through national legislation. 86.1% of DRs and 94.0% of RTTs were favourable to AI implementation. Conclusion: This research identifies priority AI development and implementation areas for DRs and RTTs. It thus highlights that DRs and RTTs should be involved in development of AI tools that would best support practice, and that clearly defined pathways for AI implementation into these key professions requires discussion so that optimum use and patient safety can ensue. Implications for practice: Understanding opinions of AI has significant implications for practice, for ensuring optimal product development, implementation, and training, together with planning for potential DR and RTT role changes.
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- PublicationVisualisation of the medial longitudinal fasciculus using fibre tractography in multiple sclerosis patients with internuclear ophthalmoplegia(Springer, 2016-01-19)Background: This study investigates the use of fibre tractography to facilitate visualisation of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF) and the impact of internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO) causing lesions on these reconstructions of the tract. Improved visualisation of such tracts may improve knowledge, understanding and confidence related to neurological conditions. Aims: To explore the use of fibre tractography for the visualisation of the MLF in patients with INO. Methods: Twelve MS subjects with clinical evidence of INO and 12 matched controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), of the brain. Fibre tractography reconstructions were then evaluated and validated by an experienced neuroanatomist. Results: The evaluating neuroanatomist confirmed that the MLF had been reproduced in all of the reconstructed cases (fibre tractography was unsuccessful in five cases). The sensitivity of fibre tractography to MLF pathology was 58.3 % while the specificity was much higher at 85.7 % with a positive predictive value of 87.5 % and a negative predictive value of 54.6 %, with excellent intra-reader reliability. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that fibre tractography of the MLF can potentially be performed with a view to facilitating improved visualisation of the tract and associated pathology in cases of INO. This may help explain the association between lesion type and location with clinical symptomatology and may assist in monitoring disease progression. These reconstructions may provide a valuable addition to the teaching and understanding of clinical signs related to subtle pathology.
19Scopus© Citations 5
- PublicationToward Autism-Friendly Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Exploring Autistic Individuals' Experiences of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans in the United Kingdom, a Cross-Sectional Survey(Mary Ann Liebert, 2023-08-30)Background: Autistic individuals might undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination for clinical concerns or research. Increased sensory stimulation, lack of appropriate environmental adjustments or lack of streamlined communication in the MRI suite may pose challenges to autistic patients and render MRI scans inaccessible. This study aimed to i) explore the MRI scan experiences of autistic adults in the UK, ii) identify barriers and enablers towards successful and safe MRI examinations, iii) assess autistic individuals’ satisfaction with MRI service, and iv) inform future recommendations for practice improvement. Methods: We distributed an online survey to the autistic community on social media, using snowball sampling. Inclusion criteria were: being older than 16, have an autism diagnosis or self-diagnosis, self-reported capacity to consent and having had an MRI scan in the UK. We used descriptive statistics for demographics, inferential statistics for group comparisons/correlations, and content analysis for qualitative data. Results: We received 112 responses. A total of 29.6% of the respondents reported not being sent any information before the scan. Most participants (68%) confirmed that radiographers provided detailed information on the day of the examination but only 17.1% reported that radiographers offered some reasonable environmental adjustments. Only 23.2% of them confirmed they disclosed their autistic identity when booking MRI scanning. We found that quality of communication, physical environment, patient emotions, staff training and confounding societal factors impacted autistic people’s experiences. Autistic individuals rated their overall MRI experience as neutral and reported high levels of claustrophobia (44.8%). Conclusion: The study highlighted a lack of effective communication and coordination of care, either between healthcare services or between patients and radiographers, and lack of reasonable adjustments as vital for more accessible and person-centred MRI scanning for autistic individuals. Enablers of successful scans included effective communication, adjusted MRI environment, scans tailored to individuals’ needs/preferences, and well-trained staff.
80Scopus© Citations 1