Fiona Vicary, superintendent radiographer from the Queen Square Imaging Centre, was pleased to attend the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) in Vancouver from June 2nd to June 7th 2018. As always, the meeting provided a fantastic programme of speakers and discussions which covered a wide and diverse range of topics from the field of neuroradiology. It was particularly pleasing to see our own Professor Rolf Jager from Queen Square provide an excellent talk on cerebral microbleeds and cortical superficial siderosis.
Brain tumour imaging was a key topic, and many speakers offered updates on the latest techniques and future developments in physiological imaging which were particularly useful and relevant to our work alongside the consultants of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre.
Updates were also provided on stroke imaging, with new sequences and techniques being made available which may provide a benefit to those patients who are seen outside of the so-called ‘golden hour’. It is a significant development that patients with delayed presentation may still be supported by imaging which could provide crucial information to aid effective treatment.
Many sessions also focussed on the emerging role of small vessel disease imaging, particularly in the context of Alzheimer’s Disease. Good progress has been made in identifying useful clinical information using imaging, prior to clinical presentation.
Of all topics covered during the meeting, one of the most prolific was the discussion around the deposition of Gadolinium, and the long term effects of repeated exposure to gadolinium based contrast agents. It is apparent that more research is required and that there are differing thoughts and opinions on the topic. However, it was pleasing to see that the UK is currently deemed to be in line with best practice. The topic of Gadolinium deposition will continue to be a hot topic in future meetings, with further discussion needed between clinicians and radiologists, and further evidence required to support the increasing need for accountability and justification of contrast media use.
Our recent article on MRI contrast media provides further information on this topic. Read it here.
The Queen Square Imaging Centre has recently made a significant investment to replace its current MRI scanner, with a top of the range 3T magnet which will be the first clinical scanner of its kind available in the UK. This investment strengthens our position to put into practice the latest practices and techniques in order to provide state of the art imaging to a wider group of patients than ever before, including those who may previously have had difficulty tolerating longer scans, and the benefits that they bring.