From The 2002 RSNA Meeting And Exhibition Expect the usual quality, but not more of the same

November 1, 2002

Organizers of the RSNA meeting expect a packed house and plenty of emphasis on latest generation equipment at the 88th annual scientific assembly. As of late September, advance registration was up an average of 7% compared with the past two years, and exhibiting companies and net square footage were slightly ahead of last year's pace.

Organizers of the RSNA meeting expect a packed house and plenty of emphasis on latest generation equipment at the 88th annual scientific assembly. As of late September, advance registration was up an average of 7% compared with the past two years, and exhibiting companies and net square footage were slightly ahead of last year's pace.

Plenary sessions read like a summary of the year's most significant and controversial topics, including digital technologies, PET/CT fusion imaging, CT screening, molecular imaging, mammography screening, and functional brain imaging. Special focus sessions address important radiology concerns as well, such as the workforce shortage, coronary artery imaging, outcomes research, and imaging informatics.

Interest in computer-assisted diagnosis has soared because the technology is now good enough to perform well in everyday practice, and it offers a potential answer to the current staff shortages, according to Dr. George S. Bisset III, program committee chair.

A record number of scientific abstracts representing 15 radiologic subspecialties were submitted for consideration, and those accepted include 1698 scientific papers for presentation, 497 scientific posters, 1086 education exhibits, and 134 infoRAD abstracts. The educational exhibits give attendees an opportunity to review radiologic signs, pathologic correlations, and treatments related to the practice of medical imaging. The infoRAD exhibit showcases hands-on computer-assisted self-instruction, Web-based applications, and the fourth year of the RSNA's Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative.

The IHE schedule includes a weeklong radiology informatics symposium incorporated into all portions of the program. This year, a select number of scientific presentations on PowerPoint from the Sunday sessions will be available for viewing throughout the week via an intranet system.

The scientific program reflects several trends in clinical radiology, including evaluating angiogenesis and assessing the effects of antiangiogenic drugs, and the expanding role of radio-frequency ablation in the musculoskeletal system, lungs, and other organs besides the liver, Bisset said. The trend toward more clinical PET studies is seen in an expanded program on PET scanning. A number of abstracts tackle the topic of screening, including cardiac and lung imaging, health services policy, and mammography.

"Researchers are looking at the value of screening and how it should be done, including the radiation doses involved in screening procedures," Bisset said.

The buzz on the showroom floor includes the latest in CT technology such as 8- and 16-slice scanners. Vendors will focus on specific applications for these machines, including colonography, lung cancer screening, coronary artery disease, and peripheral runoff studies. Several vendors will highlight real-time 3D ultrasound, particularly for echocardiology. Three-T MR systems and the latest in body coils will be prominently displayed, as will the parallel acquisition technology needed for processing the enormous amount of information obtained by 3D cross-sectional imaging. The latest in PET/CT fusion scanners will be shown, as will the latest crystal technology for stand-alone PET scanners. As always, the Diagnostic Imaging live Webcast at diagnosticimaging.com

will provide hourly updates on the latest technical and clinical developments during the weeklong conference.

RSNA president Dr. R. Nick Bryan predicts that the refresher course highlights will be a special course in digital radiography, a diagnostic categorical course titled "Findings at ultrasound: what do they mean?" and two update courses: "Thoracic imaging-chest and cardiac" and "Practical MR safety considerations for physicians, physicists, and technologists."