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Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual Scientific Meeting, March 30-April 4, 2006

Society of Interventional Radiology's 31st Annual Scientific Meeting

The Society of Interventional Radiology held its 31st annual scientific meeting from March 30 to April 4 in Toronto, Canada.

More than 5,000 interventional radiologists, image-guided intervention specialists, surgeons, cardiologists, nephrologists, radiologic technicians and other health care professionals from the United States, Canada, and some 30 other countries attended the meeting.

"It's one of the most successful meetings we've ever had," said John Kaufman, M.D., meeting program chair and Frederick S. Keller Professor of Interventional Radiology at the Dotter Interventional Institute of Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland. "It was a very upbeat meeting in terms of the specialty because of the broad range of new procedures and the patients we are now treating, and our new emphasis on longitudinal patient management."

While the specialty has in the past been "very procedure-oriented," Kaufman explained that interventional radiologists are moving towards having their own offices and clinics, where they are doing everything from evaluating patients to performing minimally invasive procedures and following up afterwards.

"The result has been a tremendous improvement in overall quality of care for patients, because giving more complete patient care is better than providing one segment of it," said Kaufman. "It has also created tremendous optimism in the field."

One highlight of the meeting revolved around advances in minimally invasive cancer care. "For some cancer patients, we can provide many different forms of treatment for their tumor, as well as evaluation before the procedure and management afterwards, and do it all in a minimally invasive fashion," noted Kaufman.

Another major meeting highlight focused on non-invasive cardiac imaging. "There is a very rich tradition of cardiac radiology in the society," said Kaufman. "For example, cardiac catheterization was invented by radiologists. Many of our members are old enough to have had some experience with cardiac radiology in the past, and the new imaging modalities applied to the heart, such as CTA (CT angiography) and MRA (MR angiography), are a natural extension of our practice."

Also at the meeting, there was "great excitement" about the specialty's expanding role in women's health, Kaufman said. This includes minimally invasive treatment for fibroids, chronic pelvic pain, infertility and minimally invasive breast interventions with image guidance. "We also had some very exciting scientific information presented on carotid stents and improved cognitive function after it. So we have very good scientific content as well."

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization Helps Postmenopausal Women

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Radiofrequency Ablation of Liver Tumor a Valid Option

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation is a viable alternative to surgery for patients with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma who have a single small tumor and good liver function, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Toronto.

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Non-Surgical Procedure Eases Juvenile Arthritis Ankle Pain

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Fluoroscopically guided steroid injections in the ankle can help relieve symptoms of juvenile arthritis, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Toronto.

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Foam Plus Embolization Helps Treat Varicoceles

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of foam to embolization therapy for varicoceles can shut off previously untreatable problem veins in the scrotum and testicles and may help prevent infertility in men, according to research presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology meeting in Toronto.

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Physician's Briefing