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1.  Management of incidental findings during imaging research in “healthy” volunteers: current UK practice 
The British Journal of Radiology  2012;85(1009):11-21.
Incidental findings (IF) are becoming increasingly common due to the proliferation of imaging research. IFs can be life-changing for “healthy” volunteers. This study examined variation in IF management in UK research studies of healthy volunteers, including comparison with ethical and legal guidelines, thus providing baseline data and informing future practice.
Questionnaire of participant background [medical/non-medical; radiologist/non-radiologist; years as principal investigator (PI)], type of research (involving children or not), institutional policy, volunteer information, radiologist involvement in reporting scans and IF disclosure mechanisms. Investigator's current and perceived “ideal” practice was examined. Participants were PIs performing imaging research of healthy volunteers approved by UK ethics committees (2006–2009).
63/146 (43%) surveys completed. 54/61 (88.5%) had site-specific guidelines. Information commonly provided to volunteers should IF be found: personal data (51/62; 82%), contingency plans (54/62; 87%) and disclosure to general practitioner (GP)/treating physician (47/62; 76%). PIs used different strategies for image review. Commonest: radiologist reports research scans only when researcher suspicious of IF [15/57 (26%) compared with 5/28 (16%) in ideal practice]. Commonest ideal reporting strategy: routine reporting by specialist radiologists [9/28 (29%) compared with 8/57 (14%) in current practice]. 49/56 (87.5%) have a standardised disclosure contingency plan, usually involving GP. PIs most commonly disclosed IFs to volunteers when judged relevant (27/58; 47%), most commonly face to face (22/54; 41%), by volunteer's GP (26/60; 43%). Background of PI influenced consent, reporting and disclosure practice.
There is wide variation in handling IFs in UK imaging research. Much of the current practice contravenes the vague existing legal and ethical guidelines, and is unlikely to be in the best interests of volunteers or researchers.
PMCID: PMC3473920  PMID: 21937616
2.  Imaging biomarkers of angiogenesis and the microvascular environment in cerebral tumours 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(Spec Iss 2):S127-S144.
Conventional contrast-enhanced CT and MRI are now in routine clinical use for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of diseases in the brain. The presence of contrast enhancement is a proxy for the pathological changes that occur in the normally highly regulated brain vasculature and blood-brain barrier. With recognition of the limitations of these techniques, and a greater appreciation for the nuanced mechanisms of microvascular change in a variety of pathological processes, novel techniques are under investigation for their utility in further interrogating the microvasculature of the brain. This is particularly important in tumours, where the reliance on angiogenesis (new vessel formation) is crucial for tumour growth, and the resulting microvascular configuration and derangement has profound implications for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. In addition, novel therapeutic approaches that seek to directly modify the microvasculature require more sensitive and specific biological markers of baseline tumour behaviour and response. The currently used imaging biomarkers of angiogenesis and brain tumour microvascular environment are reviewed.
PMCID: PMC3473900  PMID: 22433824
3.  Imaging hypoxia in gliomas 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(Spec Iss 2):S145-S158.
Hypoxia plays a central role in tumour development, angiogenesis, growth and resistance to treatment. Owing to constant developments in medical imaging technology, significant advances have been made towards in vitro and in vivo imaging of hypoxia in a variety of tumours, including gliomas of the central nervous system. The aim of this article is to review the literature on imaging approaches currently available for measuring hypoxia in human gliomas and provide an insight into recent advances and future directions in this field. After a brief overview of hypoxia and its importance in gliomas, several methods of measuring hypoxia will be presented. These range from invasive monitoring by Eppendorf polarographic O2 microelectrodes, positron electron tomography (PET) tracers based on 2-nitroimidazole compounds [18F-labelled fluoro-misonidazole (18F-MISO) or 1-(2-[(18)F]fluoro-1-[hydroxymethyl]ethoxy)methyl-2-nitroimidazole (FRP-170)], 64Cu-ATSM Cu-diacetyl-bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone) (Cu-ATSM) or 99mTc- and 68Ga-labelled metronidazole (MN) agents to advanced MRI methods, such as blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) MRI, oxygen-enhanced MRI, diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI-MRI), dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) and 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
PMCID: PMC3473902  PMID: 22433825
4.  Dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging techniques: CT and MRI 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(Spec Iss 2):S112-S120.
Over the last few decades there has been considerable research into quantifying the cerebral microvasculature with imaging, for use in studies of the human brain and various pathologies including cerebral tumours. This review highlights key issues in dynamic contrast-enhanced CT, dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and arterial spin labelling, the various applications of which are considered elsewhere in this special issue of the British Journal of Radiology.
PMCID: PMC3473907  PMID: 22433822
5.  The changing face of brain tumours 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(Spec Iss 2):S079-S081.
PMCID: PMC3473908  PMID: 22988560
6.  Decision support systems for clinical radiological practice — towards the next generation 
The British Journal of Radiology  2010;83(995):904-914.
The huge amount of information that needs to be assimilated in order to keep pace with the continued advances in modern medical practice can form an insurmountable obstacle to the individual clinician. Within radiology, the recent development of quantitative imaging techniques, such as perfusion imaging, and the development of imaging-based biomarkers in modern therapeutic assessment has highlighted the need for computer systems to provide the radiological community with support for academic as well as clinical/translational applications. This article provides an overview of the underlying design and functionality of radiological decision support systems with examples tracing the development and evolution of such systems over the past 40 years. More importantly, we discuss the specific design, performance and usage characteristics that previous systems have highlighted as being necessary for clinical uptake and routine use. Additionally, we have identified particular failings in our current methodologies for data dissemination within the medical domain that must be overcome if the next generation of decision support systems is to be implemented successfully.
PMCID: PMC3473729  PMID: 20965900
7.  Incidental findings found in “healthy” volunteers during imaging performed for research: current legal and ethical implications 
The British Journal of Radiology  2010;83(990):456-465.
Incidental findings found in “healthy” volunteers during research imaging are common and have important implications for study design and performance, particularly in the areas of informed consent, subjects' rights, clinical image analysis and disclosure. In this study, we aimed to determine current practice and regulations concerning information that should be given to research subjects when obtaining consent, reporting of research images, who should be informed about any incidental findings and the method of disclosure. We reviewed all UK, European and international humanitarian, legal and ethical agencies' guidance. We found that the guidance on what constitutes incidental pathology, how to recognise it and what to do about it is inconsistent between agencies, difficult to find and less complete in the UK than elsewhere. Where given, guidance states that volunteers should be informed during the consent process about how research images will be managed, whether a mechanism exists for identifying incidental findings, arrangements for their disclosure, the potential benefit or harm and therapeutic options. The effects of incidentally discovered pathology on the individual can be complex and far-reaching. Radiologist involvement in analysis of research images varies widely; many incidental findings might therefore go unrecognised. In conclusion, guidance on the management of research imaging is inconsistent, limited and does not address the interests of volunteers. Improved standards to guide management of research images and incidental findings are urgently required.
PMCID: PMC3473586  PMID: 20335427
8.  Longitudinal MRI shows no cerebral abnormality in chronic fatigue syndrome 
The British Journal of Radiology  2010;83(989):419-423.
MRI has previously provided conflicting results when used to search for brain abnormalities in sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Eighteen CFS patients and nine healthy volunteers each underwent MRI on two occasions, one year apart. The resulting images were examined for abnormalities in brain atrophy, deep white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and cerebral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. Mean proportionate CSF volume was not significantly different between subject groups. All participants showed a slight increase in CSF between scans, but no significant difference was found between those with CFS and those without. Between-group comparisons of ventricular volume revealed no significant differences at study commencement and no significant change over the year. No significant inter-group differences were found for any of the cerebral blood and CSF flow parameters. Low levels of WMH were found in all participants. Objective scoring of WMH using Scheltens' scale revealed no change in summary components (prosencephalic deep white matter hyperintensities, basal ganglia hyperintensities and infratentorial hyperintensities) or in individual component variables between the baseline and 1 year follow-up scans. No abnormal patterns in rate and extent of brain atrophy, ventricle volume, white matter lesions, cerebral blood flow or aqueductal CSF flow were detected in the CFS population. These results throw open the debate into whether MRI scanning can reveal diagnostic signs of CFS and clinically questions the diagnoses of CFS made on the basis of previous research conclusions.
PMCID: PMC3473570  PMID: 20223910

Results 1-8 (8)