Books Briefly Noted

Questions and Answers in MRI

Elster AD. Questions and answers in MRI. MRI Questions Web site.

For radiologists who have devoted their lives and education to medical diagnosis, trying to grasp the advanced physics behind modern MR imaging is like a foray into another world with a completely exotic language. Resources and texts are numerous, but many are written by those who primarily have a formal physics education and write in a language unfamiliar to those without the same background. Out of all the available resources, one shining beacon lights the path to understanding.

With his website, Dr. Allen Elster, MD, FACR translates the language of MR imaging, beautifully explains complex concepts, and simply transforms the foreign into the familiar. Whenever I have a question about the physics of MR imaging as it relates to my daily radiology practice, I consult the website and almost always have an answer within 5 minutes of reading. While covering numerous topics in MR imaging, Dr. Elster strives to fill each article with practical information that is applicable to optimizing patient imaging. This is why his website stands out among all the others; he is able to take the complexity of MR imaging and distill the information to that which is most valuable for the daily practicing radiologist. Included at the end of each page are references, many of which are interesting historic and landmark papers in the development of MR imaging.

The site design is beautifully practical and it often feels as though he has anticipated the next questions of the reader and placed links to relevant information. All content is free to use and frequently updated with new sections.

The next time a question arises in the reading room about the principles behind an MR imaging sequence, the cause of an artifact, or the …

Noninterpretive Skills in Radiology: Q&A Top Score Prep Guide for the Boards

Weissman AF, Bartel TB. Noninterpretive Skills in Radiology: Q&A Top Score Prep Guide for the Boards. Thieme; 2016; 110 pp; 25 ill; $39.99

Weissman and Bartel cover

Familiarity with many of the issues raised in this succinct, softcover book entitled Noninterpretive Skills in Radiology is germane not only for those tested by the ABR, but also for those involved in any of the administrative aspects of hospital and clinical practice. While the ABR does disseminate material deemed to be useful in preparation for their examinations, it provides less of a study guide than this publication, which all radiologists will find useful.

After a 28-page introduction to noninterpretive skills, the remaining 54 pages are set up in a question and answer manner in which multiple choice questions are asked and immediately following are short, well-written answers and appropriate references.

Many important items are covered in the material, including (but not limited to) quality improvement, metrics used in assessing value and productivity, safety, errors, RCA, contrast allergies and nephropathy, statistics, professionalism, and more. Among all of this material are embedded buzzwords, such as the “Hawthorne effect” or the “Swiss cheese model,” of which we have little understanding. Within each section are excellent graphics, cartoons, and medical images which help to solidify each discussion point. The 175 questions cover most material with which one would be expected to be familiar.

This straightforward book should be of interest to all those in radiology, but should be particularly valuable to those anticipating sitting for the ABR exam. It is a recommended purchase for all departments and could be a good addition to one’s personal library.…

Neuroimaging Clinics of North America: Pediatric Brain Tumors Update

Brandão LA, ed. Mukherji SK, consulting ed. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America: Pediatric Brain Tumors Update. Elsevier; 2017;27(1):1–194; $365.00

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As a follow-up to the last issue (November 2016) of the Neuroimaging Clinics of North America, which dealt with adult brain tumors, the current issue, also edited by Dr. Lara Brandão, concerns an update on pediatric brain tumors. One hundred and ninety-four pages in length, the material covers not only standard imaging/findings in pediatric tumors, but also importantly includes advanced techniques both in the initial patient assessment and in posttherapy evaluation. The nine chapters of this issue are: posterior fossa tumors; supratentorial tumors; neonatal brain tumors; pineal region masses; sella and the parasellar region rumors; extraparenchymal lesions; tumors and tumor-like masses that involve multiple spaces; peptide-based vaccine therapies; and advanced MR imaging/clinical applications. For the seasoned neuroradiologist, the last two chapters will be of greatest interest; however, the entire volume addresses key imaging points in a wide spectrum of neoplastic brain disorders. Dr. Brandão has done a remarkable job (similar to the editorship of the prior volume) getting the 24 authors to contribute their experiences and expertise to this important issue. If one is not a Neuroimaging Clinics of North America subscriber, then this single issue is a recommended purchase for one’s personal collection or for a departmental library.…

Neuroimaging Clinics of North America: Adult Brain Tumors

Brandão LA, ed. Mukherji SK, consulting ed. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America: Adult Brain Tumors. Elsevier; 2016;26(4):493–694; $360.00

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This November 2016 issue of the Neuroimaging Clinics of North America consists of 9 chapters (nearly 200 pages in length) and covers a number of aspects of adult brain tumors. Edited by Dr. Lara Brandão with contributions from 21 international and national authors, this volume deals with (in order): posterior fossa tumors, lymphomas (2 chapters), the pre- and posttreatment evaluation of gliomas (2 chapters), metastasis, extra parenchymal tumors, advanced MR techniques, and interesting cases of pseudotumors. It is a bit surprising that there is not a chapter dedicated to the emerging brain tumor classifications based on molecular/genetic factors. While in our daily readings of brain MRs and CTs, we do not consider these molecular factors, these issues are discussed among members of neuro-oncology tumor boards, on which neuroradiologists are participants. With the increased emphasis on ICD types and their implications for therapy, some space on this subject is warranted. Had this been included, some of the terminology used elsewhere in the book might have been altered. Of course, the chapter on posttreatment of gliomas and the complexities in the analysis of such patients will be of great interest to the readers of this volume. The extensive material on lymphomas is important and noteworthy because of the increased incidence of disease and the multiple parameters that can be utilized in its detection and evaluation. Many important teaching points are raised in this 54-page (2-chapter) evaluation of lymphomas.

The images included in this volume are of high quality and are well-described, with important structural changes in brain tumors included. Even if one does not read the volume cover-to-cover, one can derive an understanding (providing a good review) of adult brain tumors and see …

Pediatric Radiology: The Requisites, 4th Edition

Walters MM, Robertson RL. Pediatric Radiology: The Requisites. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2016; 432 pp; 1200 ill; $109.99

Walters and Robertson cover

The 4th edition of Pediatric Radiology, edited by Drs. Walters and Robertson, along with 21 other contributors, covers the field of pediatric radiology in 420 pages. Of course, in a book this short that attempts to address a large subspecialty, only the highlights of every area can be covered. This is the overall intent of the book—to provide a foundation in pediatric radiology upon which one can build. The neuroradiology portion of the book is reserved for the last 3 chapters (brain, spine, head and neck) and includes 144 pages. For a seasoned neuroradiologist, there are certainly other texts that are more inclusive; however, for a resident or fellow beginning a rotation in pediatric radiology or in neuroradiology, this is a solid introduction to the field. The images are crisp and each chapter summarizes the key elements.

Brain: congenital anomalies; neurocutaneous syndrome; hydrocephalus infections/inflammation; tumors; vascular disease and vascular anomalies; trauma; metabolic disease

Spine: developmental abnormalities; vascular abnormalities; trauma infection; inflammation; tumors

Head and Neck: congenital and developmental abnormalities (including orbits, nasal cavity, face, temporal bone, neck/oral cavity); trauma; infection/inflammatory conditions; tumors

For those who do not practice or observe much pediatric neuroradiology, these 3 chapters provide a wonderful summary, and the last chapter in particular allows one to evaluate and read about abnormalities that are infrequently encountered.

This book is recommended for any radiology library, whether in a private or academic practice. Neuroradiologists will not consider this a primary personal purchase.…

Broken Bones: The Radiological Atlas of Fractures and Dislocations, 2nd Edition

Chew FS, Maldijan C, Mulcahy H. Broken Bones: The Radiological Atlas of Fractures and Dislocations. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press; 2016; 406 pp; 1101 ill; $89.99

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This is an atlas showing fractures and dislocations of many areas of the body. Two chapters (54 pages) deal with cervical and thoracolumbar spine injuries. It seems a bit unusual to have an atlas entitled Broken Bones and not include fractures of the skull, skull base, temporal bones, and facial bones. Are these not bones? Anyway, the spine imaging and the descriptions are adequate for the intended purpose of the book; however, when the authors describe entities such as atlantooccipital dislocations and mention associated tectorial membrane disruption, they fail to show that “disruption” with MR imaging. One recognizes that in modern-day spine trauma imaging, an analysis of the ligaments, in addition to bone imaging, is crucial. A neuroradiologist might consider the analysis in this book of spine trauma and acute fractures incomplete, even though some MRs are illustrated. There is not a sufficiently detailed analysis of ligamentous injuries associated with those fractures/dislocations to significantly advance our ability to precisely image these patients.

This book would be of limited interest to a neuroradiologist.…

AOSpine Masters Series, Volume 7: Spinal Cord Injury and Regeneration

Vialle LR, ed. Fehlings MG, Weidner N, guest eds. AOSpine Masters Series: Spinal Cord Injury and Regeneration. Vol 7. Thieme; 2016; 225 pp; 50 ill; $119.99

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The latest volume in the AOSpine Masters Series deals with spinal cord injury and regeneration. It should be a publication of interest to all neuroradiologists because it contains information that is not dealt with in common textbooks about spine radiology. The guest editors, Drs. Fehlings and Weidner, along with 25 contributors, address issues at the core of short-term and long-term care of patients with spinal cord injuries. The chapter on MR imaging covers important clinical/imaging correlates such as predicting outcomes based on MR and describing and annotating with technical factors the utility of advanced imaging protocol and more routinely employed MR protocols. The following chapters address topics other than pure imaging—such as the timing of surgery in acute spinal cord injury, the value of medical treatment, the potential role of neuroprotective schemes, materials used in attempts at neural repair and regeneration, the potential role of stem cell transplantation in SCI, and rehabilitative strategies for patients with spinal injuries—but are nonetheless of interest. Besides, the concepts of primary and secondary injury and the means of cord reconstitution are related to the very real, everyday issue of timing of possible surgery in acute SCI. The emphasis on the diminished effect of secondary injury (like vascular comprise/interruption) when decompressive surgery is performed within 24 hours posttrauma on a severely injured cord is summarized and discussed. Spinal Cord Injury and Regeneration is an important volume in this Spine Masters Series. It should appeal to all those who work closely with spine trauma surgeons, particularly in facilities where there is a sizeable rehab facility.…

Measurements and Classifications in Musculoskeletal Radiology and Imaging of Bones and Joints

Waldt S, Woertler K. Measurements and Classifications in Musculoskeletal Radiology. Thieme; 2016; 232 pp; 423 ill; $129.99

Bohndorf K, Anderson M, Davies M, et al. Imaging of Bones and Joints: A Concise, Multimodality Approach. Thieme; 2016; 536 pp; 2181 ill; $204.99

Two newly published textbooks, Measurements and Classifications in Musculoskeletal Radiology by Simone Waldt and Klaus Woertler and Imaging of Bones and Joints by Klaus Bohndorf, Mark Anderson, Mark Davies, Herwig Imhor, and Klaus Woertler, have sections within them which would be of interest to the neuroradiologist. In the former book, 32 pages are devoted to the spine and include important information on specific measurements related to scoliosis, spine rotation, balance lines, spondylolisthesis, and disc abnormalities, as well as measurements related to the craniocervical junction and the cervical spine. In the latter book, 31 pages are devoted to the spine and cranial vault, along with 26 additional pages on some of the more commonly encountered findings in rheumatic disorders of the spine, SAPHO, and degeneration of the spine. It is particularly interesting that the authors call defects in the annulus “tears” as opposed to the more widely accepted term “fissures.” These books can be recommended to MSK colleagues.

Cover of Waldt Cover of Bohndorf

Radiology Secrets Plus, 4th Edition

Torigian DA, Ramchandani P, eds. Radiology Secrets Plus. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2016; 944 pp; $59.99

Cover of Torigian and Ramchandani

This 900-page, softcover book covering all major areas of diagnostic radiology has an interesting format. Each subject area (for example, imaging modalities, breast imaging, cardiac/vascular imaging, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, pediatric radiology, thoracic imaging, GU imaging, neuroradiology, MSK imaging and ultrasound) is presented in a question and answer format. Adequate imaging is displayed and highlights key findings. Neuroradiology occupies a surprisingly small part of the book (50 pages), and the questions asked are those which would be directed to a first- or second-year resident. This is not a book that would be of any interest to a neuroradiologist, but the program director of a residency program might find it useful for the general library.…

RadCases: Head and Neck Imaging

Shah G, Wesolowski J, Choi J, Friedman ER. RadCases: Head and Neck Imaging. Thieme; 2016; 224 pp; 441 ill; $59.99

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RadCases: Head and Neck Imaging features a nice series of 100 cases that illustrates both relatively common and challenging head and neck abnormalities; these cases are supplemented with additional material (150 cases), which is accessible through a scratch-off code that readers can enter into the Thieme website. These extra 150 cases provide an excellent self-quiz.

The print version shows each unknown with its history and, on the overleaf, the diagnosis is stated, the images are reproduced and labeled, and a differential diagnosis is provided, along with what are called “essential facts,” other potential and associated imaging findings, and “pearls and pitfalls.” These 100 cases and the 150 online are well chosen; however, it would have been worthwhile to include additional postoperative neck scans (along with the PET scanning). It also might have been valuable to have included more cases in which the findings were not so blatant. As we all know, the major challenge is finding or identifying lesions, not necessarily giving a differential diagnosis. For the online cases, the ability to go from images, to image annotations, to differential diagnoses, to key points makes learning efficient. This book serves as a refresher that helps one sharpen diagnostic abilities in head and neck imaging.

Side note: When some minor difficulty was encountered in accessing these web-based images, Thieme was contacted directly, and its representatives were immediately responsive and helpful in their assistance. This should be reassuring to those who purchase Thieme publications that have a web link to extra material.…