Vani Vijayakumar

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, United States

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Publications (24)31.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis and management of vertebral metastasis requires a systematic approach to patient identification as well as selection of appropriate therapy. Rapid identification and prompt intervention in the treatment of malignant epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) is key to maintaining quality of life. This paper provides a series of tools as well as guidance in selecting effective and evidence-based therapy individualized to the specific patient.
    ISRN surgery. 01/2011; 2011:719715.
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    ABSTRACT: This review provides an update on the management of painful bone metastases, with an emphasis on radionuclide therapy, and introduces oligometastases and quantitative imaging evaluations for clinical trials. The current use of radionuclides, alone and in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for painful bone metastases, is discussed, including toxicity, cost and overall outcomes. Radionuclide therapy is shown to be a useful and cost-effective means of alleviating bone pain in metastatic disease and may be more effective when combined with chemotherapy, bisphosphonates and radiation therapy. Early use of radionuclides in pain therapy may limit cancer progression by inhibiting oligometastases development. Thus, radionuclides can significantly decrease patient morbidity, prolong patient survival, and may decrease the occurrence of new bone metastases. Palliative pain therapy is critical for effectively managing bone metastases, with treatment options including analgesics, external beam radiotherapy, chemotherapy and radionuclides. Radionuclide therapy is underutilized. Recent studies using radionuclides with chemotherapy and bisphosponates, or using newer radionuclides or combinations of radionuclides and treatment paradigms (e.g., higher activities, repetitive or cyclic administration, chemo sensitization, chemo supplementation), are encouraging. A comprehensive, inter-disciplinary clinical approach is needed. Clinical collaborations will optimize radionuclide therapy for pain palliation and increase awareness of its benefits.
    Journal of the National Medical Association 08/2007; 99(7):785-94. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Vani Vijayakumar, Elma G Briscoe, Nonko D Pehlivanov
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent abdominal pain after cholecystectomy is not uncommon. Sphincter of oddi dysfunction (SOD) is one of the causes for this entity. However, diagnosing SOD is often difficult. Sphincter of oddi manometry (SOM) is the gold standard. Because it is invasive and needs experienced person to perform, simple noninvasive imaging techniques are needed. Other invasive endoscopic methods also play an important role in difficult cases and before therapeutic intervention. Retrospective review of the charts of postcholecystectomy patients who presented with persistent abdominal pain and underwent quantitative hepatobiliary studies (QHBS) as per Sostre et al scoring protocol and simultaneous endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with SOM between 2003 and 2004. Additional 6 studies with SOM data that had routine nonscoring hepatobiliary study (HBS) were later identified and were included in the study. A total of 24 HBS studies (22 patients) were identified, 19 performed with scoring (Sostre) and 5 with nonscoring methods. ERCP results were available for 16 patients. SOM results were available for 10 patients. Of the 19 who had Sostre's QHBS, 3 were positive and 16 were negative. All 3 QHBS positive patents also had ERCP with SOM findings of SOD. Of the 16 negative Sostre's QHBS, 8 had ERCP with SOM of which 6 had SOD, 1 had no SOD, and 1 was inconclusive. Eight patients who had negative QHBS/ HBS did not undergo further invasive gastrointestinal procedures and were followed conservatively. The rest of 5 patients with negative HBS had ERCP with SOM findings of biliary and pancreatic SOD. From our limited retrospective review, when QHBS by Sostre's is positive there is good correlation to ERCP with SOM. When negative, the agreement with ERCP with SOM is less. However, correlation of Sostre's QHBS is slightly better than nonscoring HBS. Hence, QHBS by Sostre protocol is a simple, noninvasive, and easy to use initial procedure in the management of postcholecystectomy pain syndromes and when positive can guide the gastrointestinal physicians to proceed to invasive ERCP with SOM with confidence.
    Surgical laparoscopy, endoscopy & percutaneous techniques 03/2007; 17(1):10-3. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the factors influencing the occurrence of early hypothyroidism after radioiodine treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism. Of 147 patients with Graves' disease (GD) treated with radioactive I-131 (RAI) in our thyroid clinic between July 2003 and December 2004, 84 were followed at 2 and 4 to 5 months after treatment. The age range was 12 to 75 years and the dosage range in these patients was 7.4 to 29.9 mCi. Twenty-four were males and 60 were females. Factors possibly contributing to post-RAI hypothyroidism are: dosage of I-131, age, gender, size of the gland, initial serum free T4, free T3, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, pretreatment with antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine uptake, and duration of disease. All patients had low TSH, elevated FT4, and elevated radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) at 4 and/or 24 hours. Of the 84 patients followed, 46% of the males and 62% of the females became hypothyroid at 4 to 5 months (57% of the total). Twenty-one patients remained hyperthyroid and 14 patients became euthyroid. Multivariate analysis of these 84 patients showed no statistically significant single contributing factor for the development of early hypothyroidism. The early onset of hypothyroidism after RAI in GD is very common (57%) and unpredictable. Thus, after RAI treatment, all patients must be closely monitored for the development of this disorder.
    Clinical Nuclear Medicine 12/2006; 31(11):688-9. · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Ramadass Satya, Vani Vijayakumar
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    ABSTRACT: A 17-year-old adolescent girl from El Salvador presented to the emergency room (ER) with severe abdominal pain associated with one episode of nausea and vomiting. The pain that started 5 days earlier was sharp in nature and epigastric in location with radiation to back and was relieved by half a tablet of Vicodin. The patient has a history of intermittent epigastric pain for the past 2 years and was treated for Helicobacter pylori for 1 year. In the ER, the serum chemistry demonstrated elevated amylase. Further workup with abdominal ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), and hepatobiliary scintigraphy confirmed a type IV-a choledochal cyst with intra- and extrahepatic dilation of bile ducts. We report an unusual acute abdomen presentation of type IV-a choledochal cyst in a 17-year-old young adult from El Salvador.
    Emergency Radiology 11/2006; 13(1):39-41.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the practical role of a low-fat-meal gastric emptying protocol and its effect on a patient's compliance and comfort, number of patient referrals, daily nuclear medicine scheduling, patient throughput, and cost-effectiveness. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who underwent low-fat-meal gastric emptying studies between February 2003 and February 2004. The study was approved by the University of Texas Medical Branch institutional review board. A total of 117 studies were identified. There were 36 males and 81 females. A total of 36 patients had prolonged gastric emptying (30.8%), and 5 patients had rapid emptying (4.3%). The test meal was well tolerated by 112 of 117 patients (95.8%); 5 patients were unable to complete the meal (4.3%). We found that patient tolerance, compliance, and comfort with the low-fat-meal gastric emptying protocol were excellent, increasing the number of patient referrals. In addition, the low-fat-meal protocol can accommodate more patients and hence can be beneficial for busy nuclear medicine sections with a necessity for high patient volumes; the protocol also is cost-effective.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology 07/2006; 34(2):82-5.
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    Vani Vijayakumar, M L Nusynowwitz, S Ali
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid storm is extremely rare. However, hyperthyroid patients with severe thyrotoxicosis are frequently not treated immediately with I-131 for fear of thyroid storm but are placed on thiouracil drugs for varying periods of time. We demonstrate herein that it is safe to treat these patients with 1-131, without pretreatment with thiouracil drugs, provided they do not have complicating intercurrent disease. Our definition of severe hyperthyroidism includes marked signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis, suppressed TSH, markedly elevated free T4 and/or free T3 and elevated radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) (>30%) at 4 or 24 hours. Our diagnostic criteria for thyroid storm include two or more findings of fever (>38 degrees C, 100 degrees F), severe tachycardia, high pulse pressure, agitation with tremors, flushing, sweating, heart failure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice associated with high free T4 and/or free T3. Patients were selected retrospectively for the period between August 2003 and December 2004. One hundred and twenty-two patient visits were identified. These patients were treated with 370-740 MBq (10-20 mCi) of I-131 and were evaluated for any evidence of thyroid storm. Most of the patients were placed on beta blocker drugs at the time of initial I-131 therapy; these were continued for at least two months, when the first follow-up visit occurred. At the time of I-131 therapy, it is our policy to educate the patients to seek immediate medical attention for exacerbation of symptoms of thyrotoxicosis. Not one of these patients developed thyroid storm. A subset of 25% of these cases with higher potential for thyroid storm (RAIU more than 65%, very marked signs and symptoms, and very markedly elevated free T4 and/or free T3) also tolerated the I-131 therapy well with marked clinical improvement and no exacerbation of the thyrotoxic state. It is safe to administer I-131 to patients who are severely hyperthyroid without fear of thyroid storm, provided beta blockade drugs are used to control the signs and symptoms; patient education is also important. With these steps, 4-6 weeks of prior medical treatment may not be necessary.
    Annals of Nuclear Medicine 07/2006; 20(6):383-5. · 1.41 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Nuclear Medicine 03/2006; 31(4):243-244. · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • V Vijayakumar, P G. Thomas, E G. Briscoe
    Clinical Nuclear Medicine - CLIN NUCL MED. 01/2006; 31(4).
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    ABSTRACT: To review recent developments and to examine the role of nuclear medicine-based radionuclide therapy in the management of bone metastases. Recent developments in the use of radionuclides were broadly reviewed in the context of treatment paradigms, radionuclide toxicity, cost, and overall outcomes, and an impression of the use of radionuclides in metastatic bone disease was derived. Through a number of studies, radionuclide therapy has been shown to be an efficacious and cost-effective means of alleviating bone pain in metastatic disease. Moreover, its early use in pain therapy may limit cancer progression by inhibiting oligometastases. Thus, radionuclides can significantly decrease patient morbidity, increase patient survival, and perhaps attenuate the aggressiveness of cancer. Nonetheless, in comparison with analgesics, external beam radiotherapy, or surgery, it still appears to have lower priority among medical oncologists. Bone pain palliation is critical for cancer patients afflicted with bone metastases, but radionuclides remain underutilized in such treatments. The authors propose that physician education regarding radionuclide therapy be improved and additional investigations to evaluate newer radionuclides and treatment paradigms (eg, higher activities, repetitive or cyclic administration, chemosensitization, or chemosupplementation) be strongly encouraged. A comprehensive and an interdisciplinary clinical approach toward increasing the use of radionuclides in alleviating metastatic bone pain is proposed. Data from clinical collaborations will help optimize radiopharmaceutical therapy for pain palliation, increase its awareness among oncologists, and contribute effectively to patient palliation and quality-of-life improvements.
    American journal of clinical oncology 11/2005; 28(5):513-20. · 2.21 Impact Factor
  • V Vijayakumar, E G Briscoe
    Southern Medical Journal 11/2005; 98(10):1056. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • Vani Vijayakumar, Rajeev K Shah
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary mycotic aneurysms are rare with a poor prognosis. Atherosclerosis often predisposes to aneurysmal dilatation. In children, Kawasaki disease and in adults trauma, vasculitis, syphilis, dissection, and postcoronary angioplasty contribute to coronary mycotic aneurysms. Radiolabeled leukocytes have been used in the diagnosis of prosthetic valve endocarditis and vascular graft infections. Abnormal accumulation of radiolabeled leukocytes have also been reported in infra renal aortic aneurysms. We present a case of a coronary mycotic aneurysm where delayed Tc-99m HMPAO labeled leukocyte imaging played an important role leading to the diagnosis.
    Clinical Nuclear Medicine 11/2005; 30(10):682-4. · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Vani Vijayakumar
    Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 11/2005; 39(9):839. · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • Rajiv Gupta, Atiar M Rahman, Vani Vijayakumar
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    ABSTRACT: Radionuclide uptake by the right ventricle during myocardial perfusion imaging is minimal compared with the left ventricular myocardium and is not given much importance. However, right ventricular hypertrophy from pressure or volume overload may increase right ventricular radiotracer uptake and demonstrate reversible stress-induced perfusion abnormalities in the presence of normal coronary arteries. We report a case of right ventricular ischemia secondary to right ventricular hypertrophy from recurrent right ventricular outflow tract stenosis in a patient with repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Advances in the management of congenital heart disease have led to more patients surviving to adulthood. These patients subsequently present to cardiologists in adulthood with sequelae or complications arising from previous surgery undertaken during childhood.
    Clinical Nuclear Medicine 10/2005; 30(9):596-7. · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Vani Vijayakumar, Matthew E Anderson
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    ABSTRACT: We present a case of rectal sheath hematoma with bleeding where computed tomography aided radionuclide gastro intestinal bleeding scintigraphy in the diagnosis and appropriate management, thus avoiding a laparotomy.
    Emergency Radiology 07/2005; 11(4):233-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Radionuclide sentinel lymph node localization and biopsy is a staging procedure that is being increasingly used to evaluate patients with invasive breast cancer who have clinically normal axillary nodes. The most important prognostic indicator in patients with invasive breast cancer is the axillary node status, which must also be known for correct staging, and influences the selection of adjuvant therapies. The accuracy of sentinel lymph node localization depends on a number of factors, including the injection method, the operating surgeon's experience and the hospital setting. The efficacy of sentinel lymph node mapping can be determined by two measures: the sentinel lymph node identification rate and the false-negative rate. Of these, the false-negative rate is the most important, based on a review of 92 studies. As sentinel lymph node procedures vary widely, nuclear medicine physicians and radiologists must be acquainted with the advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques. In this review, the factors that influence the success of different techniques are examined, and studies which have investigated false-negative rates and/or sentinel lymph node identification rates are summarized.
    Nuclear Medicine Communications 06/2005; 26(5):395-405. · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    Vani Vijayakumar, Matthew E Anderson
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    ABSTRACT: Localization of Tc-99m sestamibi (MIBI) by parathyroid adenomas (PA) is well known. Typically the radionuclide washes out slowly from the PAs located in the neck. Rapid washout from some PAs has been reported. Various hypotheses have been postulated for slow and rapid clearance of MIBI from PAs, located in the neck. However, the washout of MIBI from ectopic parathyroid adenoma (EPA) in not well reported. We present a case of EPA with rapid washout of MIBI. Hence, early MIBI imaging plays an important role in the evaluation of EPA.
    Annals of Nuclear Medicine 05/2005; 19(2):157-9. · 1.41 Impact Factor
  • Vani Vijayakumar, Rajiv Gupta, Atiar Rahman
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    ABSTRACT: Viewing projection images should be an integral part of interpreting MPI studies. This practice enables the reader to diagnose important extracardiac pathologies. Although physiologic and benign conditions may merely be an academic exercise, malignant conditions that require immediate intervention may be incidentally found. Even though MPI is performed for cardiac evaluation, cardiologists or nuclear radiologists interpreting the study should be watchful for noncardiac uptake of the radiotracer.
    Journal of Nuclear Cardiology 01/2005; 12(4):473-5. · 2.85 Impact Factor
  • E G. Briscoe, V Vijayakumar
    Clinical Nuclear Medicine - CLIN NUCL MED. 01/2005; 30(3).
  • V Vijayakumar, T Boysen, Y M Jimenez
    Clinical Nuclear Medicine - CLIN NUCL MED. 01/2005; 30(3).

Publication Stats

63 Citations
31.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      Livermore, California, United States
    • University of California, Davis
      Davis, California, United States
  • 2005–2007
    • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
      • Department of Radiology
      Galveston, TX, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      North Carolina, United States