Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary
Research in the Division of Gastrointestinal Radiology includes several clinical translational projects, most of which are in close collaboration with MUSC’s organ transplantation service. We have had numerous successful projects in improving the MR characterizations of malignant liver lesions, particularly using newer techniques which do not require intravenous contrast. These studies have already demonstrated improvements in patient care with improved selection for hepatic transplantation.
Several projects with CT imaging have sought to improve imaging at the same time as reducing radiation dose to patients. With access to the latest in cutting-edge CT technology, the department has completed several projects with exciting outcomes. In particular, a recent study has demonstrated that an entire abdomen and pelvis CT can be performed in less than 2 seconds and at a radiation dose reduction of one third. Currently, we are evaluating dose modulation approaches to reducing unnecessary radiation.
Several clinical studies are under way to assess the efficacy of MRI for the detection of local prostate cancer, particularly those cancers that were not identified by a biopsy. Once the cancer has been detected using MRI, additional biopsies in the region of that cancer can be performed. Our studies also show that a combination regimen of MRI (diffusion-weighted imaging) and processing (a nuclear scan) is better at detecting metastatic cancer, particularly lymphadenopathy, than MRI used alone.
In basic science research, we are currently exploring MRI techniques for the noninvasive assessment of kidney function in patients with renal disease or diabetes. Once it is better understood how to assess kidney disease based on changes on MRI, imaging with MRI could one day obviate the need for biopsy to determine the efficacy of a medical intervention. One approach uses diffusion tensor imaging and diffusion kurtosis analysis.
Dr. Richard Katzberg, who has recently joined the Radiology department faculty as a Research Professor, has several projects that he is eager to launch at MUSC. Joining us from UC Davis with industry-supported grants from Guerbet and Siemens, Dr. Katzberg will collaborate with investigators here to evaluate the utility of persistent 24-hour delayed dual-energy CT nephrograms in the prediction of acute post cardiac catheterization kidney injury as well as to undertake comparison studies between Hexabrix and Visipaque. He will be encouraging radiology junior faculty members, fellows and residents to collaborate with him on these and other projects. With his strong background in radiology research dating back to his own residency, Rick will serve as a valuable mentor and role model for our trainees.