Stanford CT symposium makes true believer out of bystander

August 10, 2006
Deborah R. Dakins

In June, I had the opportunity to help with Diagnostic Imaging's online coverage of the Stanford Multidetector-Row CT symposium in San Francisco. This meeting is a perennial favorite of mine, peopled as it is by true believers who want to understand the nitty-gritty practicalities of CT while obtaining a big-picture perspective on what's next.

This is the meeting where little time is scheduled for breaks because there is just too much to talk about. These are the folks who wait three and four deep behind microphones to participate in highly interactive postsession Q&A debates. Last but not least, this is the conference that popularized the 3D workstation face-off, a four-hour marathon of mouse clicks and manipulations through varied clinical cases designed to demonstrate how workstations really work.

And there's always at least one presentation at the Stanford meeting that combines great content with outstanding delivery. In 2004, my personal "Best of Stanford" award went to Dr. David Yankelevitz of Cornell University, who made a compelling argument in favor of CT lung cancer screening. Last year, Dr. Larry Tanenbaum of Edison Imaging in New Jersey provided a cogent hands-on guide to neuroimaging with CT.

This year, a series of talks by Dr. Michael Lev of Massachusetts General Hospital on CT's growing role in stroke triage emerged as a winner. Lev's message, that all imaging is driven by clinical need, is particularly convincing when it comes to stroke. In this application, imaging has the potential to vastly expand the pool of patients eligible for treatment. In addition to his persuasive research, Lev's passion in delivering that message was inspiring. Sign me another true believer.

Ms. Dakins is copy chief for Diagnostic Imaging.