In up to 9 percent of patients, doctors have difficulty interpreting scans because of the presence of brown adipose tissue, also known as brown fat, which may lead to a cancer misdiagnosis.
"This is a significant finding," says Medhat Osman, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of nuclear medicine and PET director at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. "It is a solution that not only is effective but low-cost and extremely easy for any PET facility to implement."
Osman says brown fat serves an important physiological role – it keeps the body warm in cold temperatures. But accumulations of the tracer that is used to identify malignancies during PET/CT scans that appear in brown fat can mimic cancer – or even mask the appearance of cancer in areas such as the lymph nodes.
New research presented by Osman, co-author Scott Huston and other Saint Louis University Hospital scientists at the 2006 Society of Nuclear Medicine in San Diego this month suggests that covering patients with a heated blanket before the scan can reduce the brown fat uptake by 62 percent.
Researchers currently suggest fighting the problem of brown fat uptake with drugs such as valium and beta blockers, which studies show only reduce the uptake by up to 30 percent.
"A warm blanket is more than twice as effective, and patients don't have to worry about negative drug interactions – or how they’re going to get home after their scan," he says.
While everyone has brown fat, it is more common in women, especially those who are slender, Osman says.
Osman's previous research suggests strenuous activity and consuming caffeinated beverages before undergoing PET/CT scans can also increase the chance for false-positives.
"We always call our patients 24 hours before their appointment as a reminder," Osman says. "Now we can give them a checklist: Don’t drink coffee, take it easy and try to stay warm to ensure the most accurate scan."
In addition to Osman and Huston, Saint Louis University Hospital technologists Crystal Botkin and Penny Yost were authors of the research, which placed third in the technologists section of the meeting.
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.
Rachel Otto | EurekAlert!
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS
New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy