Scientific abstracts indicate growing prestige of ARRS annual meeting

April 15, 2008

What’s happening with the American Roentgen Ray Society? Its annual meeting, known mainly for the quality of its refresher course, has become an essential point of coverage for world-class scientific research as well.

What's happening with the American Roentgen Ray Society? Its annual meeting, known mainly for the quality of its refresher course, has become an essential point of coverage for world-class scientific research as well.Colleagues at Diagnostic Imaging have handled our review of ARRS abstracts in the past, so I was more than a little surprised by the high level of scientific achievement evident at this year's show. I assumed I could breeze through the program to find a newsworthy abstract or two per day for daily news coverage on DiagnosticImaging.com. Was I ever wrong! Three hours passed, and I was still summarizing excellent trials deserving coverage.

Here are a few samples of the scientific papers presented at the 2008 conference:

  • Three clinical studies investigating the association between gadolinium-based MR contrast and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, including a paper that establishes the presence of infection as a possible additional risk factor for patients who are already susceptible to the disease.
  • A prospective study involving more than 500 patients that reveals the flip slide of the coin of emergency room CT. Attention has focused on radiation exposure recently, but this study evaluates its clinical benefits.
  • Another trial involving more than 500 patients investigating vexing questions about the value of D-dimer assays for suspect pulmonary embolism.
  • A study establishing the feasibility of optical spectroscopic guidance for vacuum-assisted needle breast biopsy.
  • The use of changes in apparent diffusion coefficient measures acquired with diffusion-weighted MRI to measure the effects of transarterial chemoembolization therapy for liver tumors.
  • A retrospective study of more than 1000 patients confirming the value of tissue harmonic ultrasound in screening patients for suspected hepatocellular carcinoma.

I could speculate at length about the reasons for why the ARRS meeting presentations have improved to such a degree. The change may reflect the general enrichment of medical imaging research.

The ARRS's improvements may suggest that the RSNA meeting's cup has finally runneth over. Attendees complain year after year that the society's annual conference has grown too large. Important studies that are lost in the shuffle of 100,000 feet in Chicago can earn deserved attention at the smaller ARRS meeting. The globalization of radiological research has also been a generally positive influence.Whatever the cause, the effect has elevated the quality of the ARRS meeting. More than ever, the meeting deserves your attention.