Celebrate the Image: RSNA 2011
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is hosting its 97th Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting, Nov. 27 to Dec.2, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The society anticipates nearly 60,000 attendees will head to the Windy City and has arranged a slate of more than 2,400 scientific presentations and posters and 1,800 education exhibits and informatics demonstrations.

This year's RSNA theme—Celebrate the Image—recognizes the tremendous progress and contributions that radiology has made in the last four decades. It also showcases radiologists as leaders and central to the clinical process.  

A sampling of top sessions chosen by the Health Imaging editorial staff follows. For additional previews, please visit HealthImaging.com and be sure to check in for our live conference coverage from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

Healthcare Economics

Saving Our Profession: How Radiologists Can Thrive in the Era of Healthcare Reform
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | S503AB

With policymakers scrutinizing imaging and competition continuing to escalate, independent imaging practices face the risk of extinction. A trio of experts presents and assesses the challenge and possible solutions.

Speaker Information:
  • Bruce J. Hillman, MD, professor of radiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Lawrence R. Muroff, MD, CEO and president, Imaging Consultants, Tampa, Fla.
  • Jeff Goldsmith, PhD, president, Health Futures, Charlottesville, Va.

Shaping Your Future Practice: ACOs and Practice Development
Sunday, Nov. 27, 5:00-06:00 | S402AB
Designed to help attendees understand the concept of the accountable care organization (ACO), this session addresses the delivery model and how it will influence the practice of medical imaging.Speakers also explore licensure, reimbursement and position responsibilities of the radiologist assistant.

Speaker Information:
  • Claudia A. Murray, principal and CEO, CMC Consulting, Fallston, Md.
  • Joy J. Renner MA, RT, division director, University of North Carolina Health Care System, Chapel Hill

Meaningful Use: Experience from Radiology Practices

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 12:30-2:00 | S501ABC
Several practices with rich meaningful use experience share their approaches, discuss challenges and provide strategies to participate in the meaningful use process with the hospital or multi-specialty practice.

Speaker Information:
  • James T. Whitfill, MD, CIO, Scottsdale Medical Imaging, Ariz.
  • David L. Weiss, MD, physician coordinator for imaging informatics, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, Va.
  • J. Raymond Geis, MD, Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants, Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Steven F. Fischer, CIO, Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Minneapolis
  • Alberto Goldszal, PhD, MBA, CIO, University Radiology Group, New Brunswick, N.J.

Molecular Imaging

Brain Imaging Work-up for Dementia: FDG-PET, Amyloid PET and MR Imaging
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | E451A
Designed for physicians and researchers involved in brain PET imaging of dementia, this refresher course explores the role of various modalities in the diagnosis and work-up of dementia. Speakers also will discuss new radiotracers for amyloid imaging.

Speaker Information:
  • Satoshi Minoshima, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of radiology research, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Yoshimi Anzai, MD, director of neuroradiology, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Alexander Drzezga, MD, department of nuclear medicine, TU Meunchen, Munich
  • Kirk A. Frey, MD, PhD, division of nuclear medicine, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor

Essentials of Molecular Imaging and Systems Diagnostics for Clinical Radiologists

Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | E352
This course presents the basics of molecular imaging, reviews molecular imaging probes and explores theranostics as well as future directions in molecular imaging. It addresses systems diagnostics, bioinformatics and quantitative medical imaging.

Speaker Information:
  • Martin Gilbert Pomper, MD, PhD, neuroradiologist, John Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • King C. Li, MD, director of department of translational imaging, Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston

Molecular Oncology Meets Molecular Imaging: How Can We Prepare for the Future?  

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 10:30-12:00 | S406B
This session dives into the future of molecular oncology, introducing attendees to an array of topics, including: molecular targets and personalized treatments, with a focus on non-small-cell lung cancer; novel PET tracers; the role of CT and MRI and radiogenomics.

Speaker Information:
  • Ronald Korn, MD, PhD, CEO, Imaging Endpoints, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Advanced Visualization

Informatics Support for Quantitative Imaging
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | E353A

This refresher course assesses the challenges and opportunities of quantitative imaging and how informatics can enable and improve quantitative imaging. It also explores radiogenomics and introduces the National Cancer Institute's Quantitative Imaging Network and the potential role of imaging as a biomarker.

Speaker Information:
  • Daniel L. Rubin, MD, assistant professor of radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.
  • Mia Levy, MD, CIO, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Robert J. Gillies, PhD, director of molecular and functional imaging, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Fla.
  • Laurence P. Clarke, PhD, imaging technology development branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.

Advanced Image Analysis

Monday, Nov. 28, 8:30-10:00 | S401CD
This hands-on workshop addresses automated stent planning, multimodality image fusion and treatment planning using 3D and 4D tools to process large CT and MR datasets. It reviews basic 3D tools for radiologists and referring clinicians and presents how to apply these tools in near real-time for emergencies.

Speaker Information:
  • Gary J. Wendt, MD, enterprise director of medical imaging, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison

Virtualization & Remote Rendering for Medical Imaging

Friday, Dec. 2, 8:30-10:00 | E263
This session begins with the basics of virtualization and explores its role in enterprise imaging and advanced processing. Speakers also present pitfalls to avoid.

Speaker Information:
  • Gary J. Wendt, MD, enterprise director of medical imaging, University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospitals and Clinics, Madison
  • William Beuthin, MS, senior informatics analyst, enterprise imaging, UW Health, Madison
  • Walter William Peppler, PhD, professor, medical physics and radiology, UW Health, Madison


MR Safety 2011: Safer MR Imaging Practices through Medicolegal Case Studies—Learning from the Mistakes of Others
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | S103AB

With the rise in MR safety incidents and lawsuits, this interactive session presents the major and most common MR safety issues resulting in patient injury and legal action and reviews steps and strategies to decrease the likelihood of such incidents as well as to reduce the likelihood of an adverse outcome in an MR-safety lawsuit.

Speaker Information:
  • Emanuel Kanal, MD, director of MR services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Craig E. Fischman, Esq., Pittsburgh

Prostate MR Imaging in 2011: Current Role in Staging and Surveillance
Monday, Nov. 28, 8:30-10:00 | S406B

A team of researchers reviews the basics of prostate MR imaging, including the limitations of current therapeutic approaches; prostate cancer care guidelines; indications for prostate MR imaging and its role in diagnosis, management and biopsy.

Speaker Information:
  • Peter L. Choyke, MD, chief senior clinician molecular imaging, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.
  • Masoom Haider, MD, clinician scientist, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto
  • Neil M. Rofsky, MD, chief of MRI, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston


Current State of the Art: Coronary CT & MR Angiography
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | N227
An expert panel discusses the basics of CT angiography, MR and CT perfusion imaging and recent advances in MR angiography. Clinical indications and limitations of each modality are presented.

Speaker Information:
  • U. Joseph Schoepf, MD, director of cardiovascular imaging, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • Ricardo Caldeira Cury, MD, medical director of cardiac imaging, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Miami
  • Hajime Sakuma, MD, Mie University Hospital, Mie, Japan

Evaluation of Acute Chest Pain: Is It Feasible and Safe?
Monday, Nov. 28, 8:30-10:00 | S503AB

Speakers provide clinical perspectives on cardiac-related chest pain. They also discuss the safety and efficacy of coronary CT in the emergency department and review the risks and benefits of dedicated triple rule-out studies.

Speaker Information:
  • Monvadi B. Srichai, MD, assistant professor of radiology, New York University, Langone Medical Center, New York City
  • Harold Ira Litt, MD, PhD, chief of cardiovascular imaging, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Ethan J. Halpern, MD, professor of radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia

Patient and Staff Safety with Focus on Radiation Dose Reduction—CT Safety
Monday, Nov. 28, 8:30-10:00 | S405AB
This mini-course emphasizes technical and practical aspects of CT dose reduction and also reviews regulations and policies related to CT dose reduction. Other topics to be addressed include CT protocols, software tracking and FDA activities supporting dose reduction.

Speaker Information:
  • Mahadevappa Mahesh, MD, PhD, chief physicist, department of radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • Dianna D. Cody, PhD, professor of imaging physics, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • Stanley H. Y. Stern, PhD, health physicist, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA, Silver Spring, Md.

Women's Imaging

Tailored Breast Cancer Screening
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | S406B
In this session, an expert panel considers risk assessment for breast cancer screening and protocols for screening beyond mammography. The speakers also discuss current controversies in breast cancer screening.

Speaker Information:
  • Mark E. Robson, MD, clinical director of clinical genetics service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
  • D. David Dershaw, MD, director of breast imaging, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
  • Daniel B. Kopans, MD, director, breast imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

New Trends in Digital Mammography
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | N230
Speakers explore the potential of new detectors and how they may impact dose reduction and visualization. They also review research in techniques and technology and share information about digital tomosynthesis and contrast-enhanced mammography.

Speaker Information:
  • Maryellen L. Giger, PhD, professor of radiology, University of Chicago
  • Andrew Karellas, PhD, professor of radiology, Emory University, Atlanta

Image Management & Informatics

Mobile Computing Devices
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 8:30-12:00 | N228

This radiology informatics course immerses attendees in the mobile devices realm. It addresses key topics such as platforms and security; applications, bandwidth and integration and displays; and quality assurance as they apply to medical imaging.

Speaker Information:
  • David Hirschorn, MD, director of radiology informatics, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City

Quality Improvement: Quality and Productivity Dashboards
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 8:30-10:00 | S406B
In this session, the speaker reviews the basics of productivity dashboards, discussing the technical aspects of developing and deploying a dashboard and the role of key performance indicators. He also reviews how to use a dashboard to manage a radiology department.

Speaker Information:
  • C. Daniel Johnson, MD, chairman of radiology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hot Topics

Extreme Radiology in Afghanistan
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2:00-3:30 | N229
A trio of Navy physicians discusses the evolution and value of radiology in the battlefield. The combat radiologists   share how U.S. and coalition physicians provide medical care to coalition forces and civilians.

Speaker Information:
  • Ronald Boucher, MD, chairman of radiology, Naval Medical Center, San Diego
  • Stephen Ferrara, MD, interventional radiologist, Naval Medical Center, San Diego
  • Pierre Pelletier, MD, radiologist, Naval Medical Center, San Diego

Enterprise Imaging (in association with the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine)
Friday, Dec. 2, 8:30-10:00 | S403A
This informatics refresher course explores pathology, cardiology and other non-radiology imaging services. Experts review how workflow and image management in non-radiology departments resembles and differs from radiology image management.

Speaker Information:
  • Paul J. Chang, MD, medical director of pathology informatics, University of Chicago Medical Center
  • Steven C. Horii, MD, director of medical informatics, department of radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Benoit Desjardins, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia