Till next year

Another year, another fascinating RSNA annual meeting. The conference had a more festive feel than in years past, with RSNA 2014 kicking off the society’s 100th anniversary celebration.

In his opening address, RSNA president N. Reed Dunnick, MD, took the time to acknowledge how far the radiology community has come, and its impact on healthcare.

“Today’s standard of medical care literally would not have been possible without the discoveries and contributions of radiologists over the past 100 years,” he said as he listed off the achievements of imaging in the last century, from the advent of radiography to the birth of nuclear medicine and ultrasound’s current “renaissance.”

Elsewhere inside the cavernous spaces at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, there were more nods to radiology’s storied history. The Centennial Showcase exhibit featured early scanning equipment, and artifacts from the lab of Wilhelm Röntgen, the “father of radiology,” were on display in the exhibition space next to today’s cutting-edge technology. Röntgen even made a virtual appearance at the conference.

But as interesting as the history lessons were, the RSNA meeting has always been about the future, and a number of studies presented at the show tackled today’s big issues. Researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., showed that a single season of high school football resulted in brain abnormalities detectable with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), even in players who experience a concussion. The study helped fill some of the gaps in research since most literature in this area focuses on the college and professional levels of the sport.

DTI was used in another study from researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., to further understanding of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. They found that changes in the structural connectome could be an early biomarker of disease.

Military veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is also another hot topic in the professional and general media. Saint Louis University School of Medicine researchers demonstrated at RSNA that PET/CT may be able to help differentiate PTSD from mTBI, and that many vets diagnosed with PTSD may in fact have hormonal irregularities stemming from pituitary gland damage from blast injury.

That’s just a small sample of the topics discussed at this year’s conference. Be sure to check out our other coverage on our RSNA page as we continue to recap some of the thought-provoking presentations we attended.

See you next year, Chicago.

-Evan Godt
Editor – Health Imaging