Radiological Society of North America, Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 2008

Radiological Society of North America 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting

The Radiological Society of North America's 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting took place Nov. 30-Dec. 5 in Chicago and attracted nearly 58,000 attendees from around the world, including 27,000 professionals. The meeting presented 1,803 scientific papers in 16 subspecialties: breast imaging; cardiac; chest; emergency radiology; gastrointestinal; genitourinary; health services, policy and research; molecular imaging; musculoskeletal; neuroradiology/head and neck; nuclear medicine; pediatric; physics; radiation oncology and radiobiology; radiology informatics; and vascular and interventional.

According to Scientific Program Committee chair Robert Quencer M.D., of the University of Miami, highlights included presentations by researchers Michael J. Welch, Ph.D., of Washington University in St. Louis, who spoke on nanotechnology; Minesh P. Mehta, of the University of Wisconsin, who spoke on molecular imaging; and Elizabeth G. McFarland, M.D., of St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, Mo., who spoke on computed tomography (CT) colonography.

"Although CT colonography can provide a time efficient, non-invasive structural examination of the whole colon, the many achievements gained are countered by significant challenges to overcome," McFarland said in a statement.

Quencer acknowledged that CT colonography is still a controversial subject because it may not detect small polyps or be reimbursed by insurance. "But CT technology, especially multi-slice CT, is equivalent to regular colonoscopy in its ability to detect usual-sized polyps," he said.

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One study presented at the meeting showed that CT colonography can be used to screen for two diseases at once: colorectal cancer and osteoporosis. Rizwan Aslam, M.C.Ch.B., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues studied 35 patients who underwent CT colonography and bone mineral density testing dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). After processing the abdominal CT images with a software application, the researchers found that they could create three-dimensional images of the spine and obtain bone density measurements that were nearly as accurate as DEXA.

"CT colonography isn't a replacement for DEXA testing, but it could be a way to screen more people for osteoporosis," Aslam said in a statement. "When an individual undergoes CT colonography, we can also obtain a bone density measurement with no additional radiation and at minimal cost."

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"Other important topics included advancements in multi-detector CT scanners to lessen the radiation dose," Quencer said. "These will affect radiology departments in how patients, particularly pediatric patients, are imaged. It's of increasing concern because current multi-detector CT scanners deliver high doses of radiation in order to image a whole chest in a couple of seconds and an entire body in 30 seconds."

Quencer added, "Advances in medicine, and in radiology in particular, come in small steps. Although no landmark studies were presented this year, there was a lot of discussion about the increasing use of high-quality work stations that allow radiologists to project and reconstruct three-dimensional images of the body and vascular system. There also was a lot of discussion about combining positron emission tomography (PET) and CT to fuse images and work out various anomalies, particularly in cancer detection."

RSNA: Portable Scanners Benefit Stroke Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Significantly more acute stroke patients may be eligible for thrombolytic therapy at hospitals that have portable CT scanners. Also, stroke survivors may benefit from therapy that uses a novel, hand-held robotic device and functional MRI, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

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RSNA: Brain Abnormalities Seen in Psychiatric Disorders

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stress-related psychiatric disorders may have dysfunctional circuitry in the area of the brain responsible for suppressing memory, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

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RSNA: New Techniques Improve Breast Cancer Diagnoses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-specific gamma imaging may detect breast cancers not found on mammograms or by clinical exam, and positron emission mammography may detect cancers regardless of breast density or a woman's hormonal status, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

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RSNA: New Treatment Beneficial in Plantar Fasciitis

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with plantar fasciitis who have not responded to conservative therapy may benefit from a 15-minute ultrasound-guided percutaneous treatment that includes dry-needling and a steroid injection, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

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RSNA: Brachytherapy Benefits Women with Breast Implants

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Brachytherapy after lumpectomy may be an effective alternative to conventional treatments in women with early-stage breast cancer who have undergone breast augmentation, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

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