Diagnosing Kidney Cysts

By Sally Robertson, BSc

Kidney (renal) cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on one or both of the kidneys. Usually, these cysts do not cause symptoms or kidney damage, in which case they are referred to as simple kidney cysts.

Simple kidney cysts are very different from the type of cysts that develop when a person has the genetic condition polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which causes scarring of the kidney tissue that can eventually damage the kidney and lead to kidney failure.

Simple cysts sometimes cause symptoms if they have become large enough or have started to press on other organs. They can also become infected, leading to pain and fever.

Early Signs Of Microcephaly That Could Indicate A Problem

microcephalyWith Zika spreading across the United States, the fetal fears that began in Brazil have come a lot closer to home. According to The Washington Post, several women have faced the effects of contracting Zika virus during their pregnancies: one woman has already given birth to a baby with severe birth defects, while other mothers have miscarried or chosen to abort fetuses with early signs of abnormalities. Mothers who have Zika or are concerned that they could contract it are facing serious decisions and uncertain futures, leading many to wonder if there are any early signs of microcephaly.

After birth, microcephaly is fairly easy to diagnose, although the severity of the condition varies from infant to infant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Boston Children’s Hospital, typical microcephaly symptoms after birth include a head with a circumference two standard deviations below the average, failure to thrive, high-pitched crying, low appetite, and involuntary muscle contractions.

While still in utero, however, diagnosing microcephaly isn’t quite as cut and dry. According to the CDC, “Microcephaly can sometimes be diagnosed with an ultrasound test (which creates pictures of the body).” The CDC recommends going for an ultrasound late in the second trimester or early in the third trimester, although women who have contracted Zika should definitely see their physicians and undergo monitoring and regular ultrasounds as soon as possible.

Assessing Cardiotoxicity Due to Cancer Therapy

A new field of cardiac-oncology is rapidly growing to help fight the second leading cause of death among cancer patients

GE_echo 4D_Strain_HF

GE Healthcare’s cardiac ultrasound strain assessment software helps quantify left ventricular wall motion to determine if there is damage to cardiac function due to cancer therapy.

Cardio-oncology is an emerging field that combines the expertise of both cardiology and oncology to assess and treat cancer patients for the second leading cause of death among cancer survivors — cardiovascular disease brought on by their treatments. Specific types of chemotherapy and chest-directed radiation therapy are known to cause cardiac dysfunction, mainly due to cardiotoxicity — the symptoms of which may not present until months or even years after cancer treatment.

Incidence, Etiology, and Comparative Frequency of Sudden Cardiac Death in NCAA Athletes: A Decade in Review



Background—The incidence and etiology of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes is debated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) often reported as the most common etiology.

Methods and Results—A database of all NCAA deaths (2003 – 2013) was developed. Additional information and autopsy reports were obtained when possible. Cause of death was adjudicated by an expert panel. There were 4,242,519 athlete-years (AY) and 514 total student athlete deaths. Accidents were the most common cause of death (257, 50%, 1:16,508 AY) followed by medical causes (147, 29%, 1:28,861 AY). The most common medical cause of death was SCD (79, 15%, 1:53,703 AY). Males were at higher risk than females 1:37,790 AY vs. 1:121,593 AY (IRR 3.2, 95% CI, 1.9-5.5, p < .00001), and black athletes were at higher risk than white athletes 1:21,491 AY vs. 1:68,354 AY (IRR 3.2, 95% CI, 1.9-5.2, p < .00001). The incidence of SCD in Division 1 male basketball athletes was 1:5,200 AY. The most common findings at autopsy were autopsy negative sudden unexplained death (AN-SUD) in 16 (25%) and definitive evidence for HCM was seen in 5 (8%). Media reports identified more deaths in higher divisions (87%, 61%, and 44%) while percentages from the internal database did not vary (87%, 83%, and 89%). Insurance claims identified only 11% of SCDs.

What is a Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Test?

The carotid intima-media thickness test (CIMT) is a measure used to diagnose the extent of carotid atherosclerotic vascular disease. The test measures the thickness of the inner two layers of the carotid artery – the intima and media – and alerts physicians to any thickening when patients are still asymptomatic. Early detection may indicate the need for a more aggressive approach to managing the risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke.


Aging is a contributing factor to increased carotid intima-media thickness. Other risk factors include high lipoprotein levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

What is Breast Thermography?

Breast thermography is a 15 minute non invasive test of physiology. It is a valuable procedure for alerting your doctor to changes that can indicate early stage breast disease.

The benefit of breast thermography is that it offers the opportunity of earlier detection of breast disease than has been possible through breast self examination, doctor examination or mammography alone.

Thermography can detect the subtle physiologic changes that accompany breast pathology, whether it is cancer, fibrocystic disease, an infection or a vascular disease. Your doctor can then plan accordingly and lay out a careful program to further diagnose and /or MONITOR you during and after any treatment.



Good thermal symmetry with no suspicious vascular patterns or significant thermal findings.

Ultrasound for pets is often more telling than X-rays

What does an ultrasound show me that X-rays don’t? This is something we are asked almost daily when speaking with clients about diagnostics on their sick pets.


X-rays are a great baseline when your pet is ill. We can see the internal organs and their contours, look for changes in the lungs that you may see from heart failure or cancer. We can see bladder or kidney stones and look for signs of intestinal obstructions. We can even look at bone to check for arthritis and growing pains. So why an ultrasound if we can see all that?

An ultrasound lets us look at the actual structure of an organ.

When looking at the heart, we can actually watch it beat and measure how well the heart muscles contract, how efficiently they are working. We can see the heart valves opening and closing, look for any signs of regurgitation, or leaky valves. If there is fluid in the chest or abdomen, we use the ultrasound to help us aspirate a sample for further evaluation, just as we can use it to aspirate or biopsy organs like the liver or kidneys if need be.

Suspected Pediatric Appendicitis: When Should CT Scans Be Used?

Published April 29, 2016

Suspect-Ped-AppendicitisHave you ever treated a child with abdominal pain that you suspected might be caused by appendicitis? It’s tempting to go straight to a CT scan, but such scans expose children to ionizing radiation, which is potentially harmful. Eric Glissmeyer, M.D., a pediatric emergency physician, discusses how doctors can know whether to employ advanced scanning in kids. He presented this information to his peers at the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Baltimore.

Listen here

All Women Should Have Access To Ultrasound Screening For Breast Cancer

Forbes/ Pharma & Healthcare | Elaine Schattner | FEB 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

It’s hard to understand opposition to screening middle-aged women for breast cancer. Mammography finds tumors early in over 80 percent of cases. The question is how to make the process safer, more accurate and efficient.

The optimal screening program should include ultrasound for women with dense breasts. The sound-wave test is good for detecting invasive cancers that are otherwise hard-to-spot in cloudy mammograms of dense breasts. The procedure should be covered by insurance and provided by expert radiologists who specialize in breast imaging.

The latest fuss about breast cancer screening has to do with this very issue. Some radiologists suggest it’s inadvisable or impractical to inform all women with dense breasts that an ultrasound might help clarify their cancer status, to know if they’re clear. Just last week, a perspective in a prestigious medical journal came down on legislation that would assure women have this information. The physician authors emphasize the role of “grassroots organizations and laypeople” in the push for women’s access to information about their breasts and supplemental studies.

The benefits of breast ultrasound – compared to other methods of breast cancer screening – are several. First, there’s no radiation. Zip. The sound-wave test is like an echocardiogram (to image the heart) or a sonogram many have while pregnant to check the fetus’s beating heart and developing limbs. In itself, ultrasound is safe and essentially harmless (without a biopsy, see below). And it’s inexpensive, especially as things go in radiology.

Courtesy of GE Healthcare: In the left panel, an ultrasound image obtained with GE’s Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) system reveals a dark spot in the lower left breast (where thin blue and green “crosshair” lines meet) consistent with an invasive malignancy. A bright yellow dot marks the patient’s nipple. In the right panel, a standard mammographic image of the same breast shows dense tissue with non-specific calcifications.

Courtesy of GE Healthcare: In the left panel, an ultrasound image obtained with GE’s Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) system reveals a dark spot in the lower left breast (where thin blue and green “crosshair” lines meet) consistent with an invasive malignancy. In the right panel, a standard mammographic image of the same breast shows dense tissue with non-specific calcifications.

Low cost may be part of ultrasound’s problem – why some radiologists don’t favor mandatory notification. Today CMS pays in the range of $108 to $200 for bilateral breast ultrasound including fees for the doctor’s interpretation. Rates vary, depending on where the procedure is done. Typical reimbursement is around $150. The same government service pays around $540 for bilateral breast MRIs with interpretation.

Rio Hondo Faculty receive Longevity Health Screenings

Destinee Ortiz, Staff Writer | 

Photo by Aaron Martinez/ El Paisano Faculty can receive health screenings at a discounted price through Longevity.

Photo by Aaron Martinez/ El Paisano
Faculty can receive health screenings at a discounted price through Longevity.

Longevity, a medical company that travels from business to business, provided Rio Hondo faculty members with on-campus preventative screenings on April 6.

Faculty, along with family and friends, were invited to participate in the screenings.  On-site examination tents were set up so patients could comfortably be examined in a familiar medical environment.

“It’s [the screening] preventative measures, making sure there’s (sic) no issues before there’s (sic) actually symptoms,” ultrasound technician Jay Torres said.

Torres, along with other sonographers from Longevity, travel to different businesses and schools throughout Southern California to perform on-site early detection screenings.

At Quality Mobile Ultrasound our primary focus is on building strong, lasting partnerships with the practices, providers and patients which we engage in business.