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Radiological Society of North America's Annual Meeting Nov. 25-30 2007

Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting

The Radiological Society of North America's Annual Meeting took place Nov. 25-30 in Chicago, attracting about 62,000 attendees from around the world. The meeting featured more than 2,200 scientific presentations and posters, and more than 1,400 educational and informatics exhibits. Topics included advances in cardiac computed tomography (CT), breast imaging, interventional oncology and molecular imaging, and issues such as the possible risks associated with the increased usage of CT.

"In cardiac CT, the reconstructed images of the heart and vasculature are so phenomenal that it's like looking at the heart in your hand," said Robert Quencer, M.D., of the University of Miami School of Medicine, the association's scientific program director. "Multi-detector CT scans can acquire images of the entire heart in a couple of seconds, which eliminates the distortion of images caused by a beating heart."

Two major studies presented at the meeting -- the CORE-64 Trial and the ACCURACY Trail -- showed that cardiac CT is as accurate as coronary angiography in diagnosing coronary artery disease.

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Advances in breast imaging were another important topic of discussion, according to Quencer. "Breast imaging has gone from regular mammography to ultrasound mammography to magnetic resonance mammography," he said. "Now we also have digital tomosynthesis, which is a sectional exposure of the breast to determine the presence of deranged breast architecture in places where there may be a tumor. It's probably much more sensitive in detecting early breast cancer."

The meeting also highlighted continued growth in interventional oncology, including new techniques in image-guided therapy. "A good example is radiofrequency ablation of tumors, including those in the kidney and liver," Quencer said. "More and more of these kinds of minimally invasive procedures are being performed in radiology under image guidance."

Other topics of discussion included a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the dangers related to unnecessary CT scanning. "The moral is that if a CT scan is indicated from a clinical point of view, there should be no hesitation to undergo it because the benefits outweigh the theoretical harm," Berlin said. "On the other hand, there's no question that CT scans are often ordered unnecessarily."

"There's an effort by organized radiology to ensure that every exam is appropriately ordered and meets certain criteria," Quencer said. "We need to get more standard protocols in imaging, especially in the pediatric age group. We also need to monitor everyone's lifetime exposure to medical radiation."

Cancer Risk from CT Scans May Be Underestimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans may have serious public health implications, as radiation exposure associated with these scans may increase the risk of cancer, particularly in children, according to an article published in the Nov. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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RSNA: New Treatment Relieves Shoulder Tendonitis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, a minimally invasive, 10-minute ultrasound-guided percutaneous therapy, which involves the injection of saline and removal of calcium from the rotator cuff, is a simple, inexpensive and effective treatment, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: Stereoscopic Mammography Is Effective

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Stereoscopic full-field digital mammography, which allows radiologists to see a three-dimensional view of breast structure, may detect more breast cancers with fewer false positives than standard digital mammography, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: Technique Reveals Brain Abnormalities in Autism

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A novel imaging technique -- diffusion tensor imaging in combination with coefficient-based morphometry -- shows that autistic children have increased gray matter in areas of the brain associated with social processing and learning by observation, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: Cryoablation Continues to Show Promise in Oncology

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Cryoablation may be an effective treatment for patients with kidney cancer and help reduce pain in patients whose primary tumors have spread to bone, according to two studies presented this week at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago.

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RSNA: Radiological Exams During Pregnancy On the Rise

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- During the past decade, the use of radiologic exams on pregnant women has more than doubled, which could carry a slight risk of harm to developing fetuses, especially those exposed to computed tomography, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: Novel System May Speed ID of Disaster Victims

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Phase-Only Correlation, a novel, automated dental radiograph (x-ray) matching system, can quickly and accurately identify victims of mass disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, plane crashes or acts of terrorism, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: New Technique Useful in Inflammatory Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In women with inflammatory breast cancer, fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) is useful in initial staging, accurately identifies early metastases and may help guide treatment decisions, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: Race Affects Attitudes Toward Mammography

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Despite higher rates of breast cancer mortality and a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, black and Hispanic women have a different understanding of screening mammography, which may affect their recall compliance and desire for early cancer detection, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: City Residents Have Higher Breast Density

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women who live in cities and suburbs are more likely to have denser breast tissue than those who live in rural areas, which increases their risk of developing breast cancer, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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RSNA: Imaging Shows Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Long-time-scale, global helium-3 diffusion MRI can identify structural damage to the lungs caused by secondhand cigarette smoke, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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