Improved antibody detection by the use of range expansion and longer filter wavelength in a low ionic strength-protamine sulphate Auto-Analyzer system. (1/1800)

Range expansion, achieved by insertion of a variable resistance between the colorimeter and the recorder together with the use of 550 nm colorimeter filters, has resulted in markedly improved sensitivity for antibody detection, and improved sample identification, in a low ionic strength-protamine sulphate (LISPS) system. Range expansion also permits a lower concentration of red cells to be used, thus economizing on fully typed cells. Glycerol stored frozen cells were found to be only slightly less sensitive than fresh cells in this system.  (+info)

The effect of the antiscatter grid on full-field digital mammography phantom images. (2/1800)

Computer Analysis of Mammography Phantom Images (CAMPI) is a method for making quantitative measurements of image quality. This article reports on a recent application of this method to a prototype full-field digital mammography (FFDM) machine. Images of a modified ACR phantom were acquired on the General Electric Diagnostic Molybdenum Rhodium (GE-DMR) FFDM machine at a number of x-ray techniques, both with and without the scatter reduction grid. The techniques were chosen so that one had sets of grid and non-grid images with matched doses (200 mrads) and matched gray-scale values (1500). A third set was acquired at constant 26 kVp and varying mAs for both grid conditions. Analyses of the images yielded signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR), contrast and noise corresponding to each target object, and a non-uniformity measure. The results showed that under conditions of equal gray-scale value the grid images were markedly superior, albeit at higher doses than the non-grid images. Under constant dose conditions, the non-grid images were slightly superior in SNR (7%) but markedly less uniform (60%). Overall, the grid images had substantially greater contrast and superior image uniformity. These conclusions applied to the whole kVp range studied for the Mo-Mo target filter combination and 4 cm of breast equivalent material of average composition. These results suggest that use of the non-grid technique in digital mammography with the GE-DMR-FFDM unit, is presently not warranted. With improved uniformity correction procedure, this conclusion would change and one should be able to realize a 14% reduction in patient dose at the same SNR by using a non-grid technique.  (+info)

Computed radiography dual energy subtraction: performance evaluation when detecting low-contrast lung nodules in an anthropomorphic phantom. (3/1800)

A dedicated chest computed radiography (CR) system has an option of energy subtraction (ES) acquisition. Two imaging plates, rather than one, are separated by a copper filter to give a high-energy and low-energy image. This study compares the diagnostic accuracy of conventional computed radiography to that of ES obtained with two radiographic techniques. One soft tissue only image was obtained at the conventional CR technique (s = 254) and the second was obtained at twice the radiation exposure (s = 131) to reduce noise. An anthropomorphic phantom with superimposed low-contrast lung nodules was imaged 53 times for each radiographic technique. Fifteen images had no nodules; 38 images had a total of 90 nodules placed on the phantom. Three chest radiologists read the three sets of images in a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) study. Significant differences in Az were only found between (1) the higher exposure energy subtracted images and the conventional dose energy subtracted images (P = .095, 90% confidence), and (2) the conventional CR and the energy subtracted image obtained at the same technique (P = .024, 98% confidence). As a result of this study, energy subtracted images cannot be substituted for conventional CR images when detecting low-contrast nodules, even when twice the exposure is used to obtain them.  (+info)

Filter-based coded-excitation system for high-speed ultrasonic imaging. (4/1800)

We have recently presented a new algorithm for high-speed parallel processing of ultrasound pulse-echo data for real-time three-dimensional (3-D) imaging. The approach utilizes a discretized linear model of the echo data received from the region of interest (ROI) using a conventional beam former. The transmitter array elements are fed with binary codes designed to produce distinct impulse responses from different directions in ROI. Image reconstruction in ROI is achieved with a regularized pseudoinverse operator derived from the linear receive signal model. The reconstruction operator can be implemented using a transversal filter bank with every filter in the bank designed to extract echoes from a specific direction in the ROI. The number of filters in the bank determines the number of image lines acquired simultaneously. In this paper, we present images of a cyst phantom reconstructed based on our formulation. A number of issues of practical significance in image reconstruction are addressed. Specifically, an augmented model is introduced to account for imperfect blocking of echoes from outside the ROI. We have also introduced a column-weighting algorithm for minimizing the number of filter coefficients. In addition, a detailed illustration of a full image reconstruction using subimage acquisition and compounding is given. Experimental results have shown that the new approach is valid for phased-array pulse-echo imaging of speckle-generating phantoms typically used in characterizing medical imaging systems. Such coded-excitation-based image reconstruction from speckle-generating phantoms, to the best of our knowledge, have not been reported previously.  (+info)

Comparison of five methods of malaria detection in the outpatient setting. (5/1800)

In eastern Africa where 90% of the malaria is due to Plasmodium falciparum, the accuracy of malaria diagnosis at the outpatient level is becoming increasingly important due to problems of drug resistance and use of alternative, costly antimalarial drugs. The quantitative buffy coat (QBC) technique, acridine orange staining with an interference filter system, and the ParaSight-F test have been introduced as alternative methods to conventional microscopy for the diagnosis of malaria. Two hundred thirteen outpatients were tested using these alternative methods and conventional microscopy by five experienced technologists; two were randomly allocated to read the results of each test. Paired results showed the highest level of agreement with the ParaSight-F test (99%), followed by Field stain (92%). The results of the QBC technique showed the least agreement (73%). Using conventional microscopy as the reference standard, the ParaSight-F test had a sensitivity range of 90-92% and a specificity of 99%, staining with acridine orange had a sensitivity range of 77-96% and a specificity range of 81-98% and the QBC technique had a sensitivity range of 88-98% and a specificity range of 58-90%. All microscopic tests showed lower sensitivities (as low as 20% using staining with acridine orange) in detecting low parasitemias (< or = 320/microl) than the ParaSight-F test (70%). Due to the high cost of the ParaSight-F test, Field-stained blood films remain the most appropriate method for diagnosis of P. falciparum in eastern Africa. The ParaSight-F test may be used in situations where no trained microscopists are available, or where malaria is strongly suspected and the results of microscopy are negative.  (+info)

Nitrate removal in closed-system aquaculture by columnar denitrification. (6/1800)

The columnar denitrification method of nitrate-nitrogen removal from high-density, closed system, salmonid aquaculture was investigated and found to be feasible. However, adequate chemical monitoring was found to be necessary for the optimization and quality control of this method. When methanol-carbon was not balanced with inlet nitrate-nitrogen, the column effluent became unsatisfactory for closed-system fish culture due to the presence of excess amounts of nitrite, ammonia, sulfide, and dissolved organic carbon. Sulfide production was also influenced by column maturity and residence time. Methane-carbon was found to be unsatisfactory as an exogenous carbon source. Endogenous carbon could not support high removal efficiencies. Freshwater columns adpated readily to an artificial seawater with a salinity of 18% without observable inhibition. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the bacterial flora was mainly rod forms with the Peritricha (protozoa) dominating as the primary consumers. Denitrifying bacteria isolated from freshwater columns were tentatively identified as species of Pseudomonas and Alcaligenes. A pilot plant column was found to behave in a manner similar to the laboratory columns except that nitrite production was never observed.  (+info)

Filter ventilation and nicotine content of tobacco in cigarettes from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (7/1800)

OBJECTIVES: The purpose was to determine filter ventilation and the nicotine content of tobacco and their contribution to machine-smoked yields of cigarettes from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. METHODS: Ninety-two brands of cigarettes (32 American, 23 Canadian, and 37 British brands) were purchased at retail outlets in State College, Pennsylvania, United States, Toronto, Canada, and London, United Kingdom. A FIDUS FDT filter ventilation tester measured the percentage air-dilution from filter vents. High-pressure, liquid chromatography was used to measure the nicotine content of tobacco. Regression techniques were used to examine the contributions of tobacco nicotine content and filter ventilation to machine-smoked yields of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide (CO). RESULTS: Ninety-four per cent of the American brands, 91% of the Canadian brands, and 79% of British brands were ventilated. The total nicotine content of tobacco and percent nicotine (by weight of tobacco) averaged 10.2 mg (standard error of the mean (SEM) 0.25, range: 7.2 to 13.4) and 1.5% (SEM 0.03, range 1.2 to 2) in the United States, 13.5 mg (SEM 0.49, range: 8.0 to 18.3) and 1.8% (SEM 0.06, range: 1.0 to 2.4) in Canada, 12.5 mg (SEM 0.33, range: 9 to 17.5) and 1.7% (SEM 0.04, range: 1.3 to 2.4) in the United Kingdom. Multiple regression analyses showed that ventilation was by far the largest factor influencing machine-smoked yields of tar, nicotine, and CO. CONCLUSION: Filter ventilation appears to be the predominant method for reducing machine-smoked yields of tar, nicotine, and CO in three countries. However, some brands contain about twice as much nicotine (total content or percent nicotine) as do others, indicating that tobacco types or blends and tobacco castings can be used to manipulate nicotine content and nicotine delivery of cigarettes.  (+info)

Effects of Aspergillus fumigatus culture filtrate on antifungal activity of human phagocytes in vitro. (8/1800)

BACKGROUND: Aspergillus fumigatus can colonise the airways and the lungs with localised underlying conditions and occasionally invade the surrounding lung tissues even in subjects without systemic predisposing factors, presumably by escaping the local host defences. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of A fumigatus culture filtrate (ACF) on the activities of human phagocytes--inhibition of germination of A fumigatus spores by alveolar macrophages (AMs) and hyphal damage by polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs)--which are the critical host defences against A fumigatus. METHODS: Spores were incubated with AMs at a ratio of 1:1 in a medium containing different concentrations of ACF for 10 hours at 37 degrees C. Spore germination was visualised with light microscopy and the inhibition rate was calculated. The percentage of hyphal damage caused by PMNs pretreated with various concentrations of ACF was measured by a colorimetric tetrazolium metabolic assay. RESULTS: The inhibition rate of spore germination by AMs cultured with medium alone (control) was 90 (0.8)% whereas that by AMs cultured with the medium containing 10% ACF was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced to 41.7 (4.6)%. ACF suppressed the inhibition of spore germination in a dose dependent manner without altering the phagocytosing activity against the spores. The percentage of hyphal damage caused by PMNs pretreated with medium-199 (control) was 78.1 (2.3)% compared with 65.3 (2.8)% when PMNs were pretreated with 50% ACF (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: A fumigatus releases biologically active substance(s) which suppress the inhibition of spore germination by AMs and also suppress PMN mediated hyphal damage, and thus may contribute to the pathogenicity of this fungus.  (+info)