Online and On Target

Posted on: March 3rd, 2017 by admin

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It’s the first week in March so it must be time for the annual gathering of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna. Today is the third of five days and for the fifth year in a row all 1,500 presentations are being streamed live via the Internet. Surprisingly, in this era when everyone seems determined to make a fast buck, you can register free of charge (onsite registration costs €995), and access the most current information in radiology. Simply click here to register.

One of the frustrating features when you attend a congress is discovering two presentations that interest you have been scheduled at the same time. Another annoying finding is to hear from a fellow delegate about a really interesting lecture that you missed. With ECR Online, these problems have been solved. Not only are you able to watch a presentation live, you can go back and view a lecture that has already been delivered.

In our field of breast imaging, there were 15 sessions on Wednesday, including: the current challenges in breast MRI; the application of computer-aided diagnosis to breast ultrasound; and a symposium on how to overcome the radiologist’s “problem child” – the dense breast – using a multimodality approach. Yesterday, among the 24 sessions were: contrast-enhanced spectral mammography; a lunch time workshop hosted by GE Healthcare that described a clinical trial of 10,000 women screened with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), and another study that used 3D automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) for screening; and the correlation between radiological and pathological findings.

An innovative feature of this year’s congress was the interactive teaching session where the speaker first presented a clinical case and the audience then answered a multiple-choice question using a real-time voting machine. Dr Karen Kinkel of Switzerland presented a tutorial on multimodality breast imaging, taking into account the performance and cost of ultrasound, mammography, DBT and MRI. Her second case was the trickiest: a 38-year-old woman with a palpable mass in the left breast, a lumpectomy to remove a fibroadenoma five years previously, and a mother who had breast cancer at age 56. Kinkel presented the mammography (seen above), ultrasound and MRI images, weaving in a series of challenging questions. This was a master class, enabling both the live audience and those online to learn from an outstanding teacher.

Those of us unable to travel to Vienna owe a debt of gratitude to the European Society of Radiology for making ECR 2017 freely available.

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