RSNA 2006 will be remembered for presentation of serious science

January 1, 2007

With thousands of papers, posters, and new product introductions, the 2006 RSNA meeting was so rich in content that you could find information to support just about any argument to explain what it all means.

 

With thousands of papers, posters, and new product introductions, the 2006 RSNA meeting was so rich in content that you could find information to support just about any argument to explain what it all means.

As Diagnostic Imaging editor John Hayes noted in this month's editorial, you could skim the surface for entertaining ditties to thrill the general public. News about violent video games and teenager arousal is just the sort of story I enjoy reading about at breakfast. The study on brain response to name brands explains why I gain consciousness every morning at the breakfast table while staring at a box of Cheerios. Oddity is news, and it adds spice to the greatest radiological show on earth.

Of course, a lot of science is submerged beneath the glitter. Though radiologists may be criticized for the quality of their research, evidence suggests that radiological science is improving. While most studies are still small and preliminary, many large studies involving hundreds and even thousands of patients were presented at the 2006 conference. The emergence of the People's Republic of China as an important source of imaging research helps promote this trend. With a population of 1.3 billion, China has researchers who have shown that they can quickly accumulate extensive case experience for even rare conditions to permit groundbreaking investigations.

More studies in 2006 were based on head-to-head comparisons of competing modalities. While prospective multicenter trials remain rare in the U.S., they are pursued and presented with regularity by European investigators. Sophisticated statistical quantification is now routine, and proportionately fewer studies are presented for the sole purpose of allowing a resident to meet an academic requirement.

This all contributes to a richer environment for more serious science to fuel the advancement of diagnostic imaging.

Mr. Brice is senior editor of Diagnostic Imaging.

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