Vol. 6 •Issue 1 • Page 13

The meeting

Crowned the “world’s largest medical meeting,” the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) hosted its 81st annual meeting, which ran from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1, 1995. Housed in McCormick Place in Chicago, the recent RSNA offered its mammoth schedule of educational programs and papers, workshops, equipment exhibits and after-hours networking opportunities. The theme of RSNA ’95 was “Architects of the Future: Patient Care Through Science and Technology.”

According to the RSNA, nearly 60,000 people attended the meeting, representing more than 90 countries. More than 1,900 scientific papers and presentations covered 13 subspecialties. There was more than 250 refresher courses and 1,500 technical and scientific exhibits. Commercial exhibit space accounted for more than 370,000 square feet of the convention floors.


The Society spotlighted several radiologic professionals during its 1995 meeting.

Three radiologists were presented the Gold Medal Award, the RSNA’s highest honor presented by unanimous vote of the board of directors to “professionals who have demonstrated unusual service to the science of radiology.”

• Herbert L. Abrams, MD, of Stanford, Calif., was a Gold Medal Award recipient. His career in diagnostic radiology focused on the clinical and research aspects of cardiovascular and interventional radiology and on health policy.

• Malcolm D. Jones, MD, of Santa Ana, Calif., was another Gold Medal Award winner. Dr. Jones spent his career striving to enhance and improve education for medical students and education in radiology for residents and fellows.

• Edward B. Singleton, MD, of Houston, also was a Gold Medal Award winner. A lecturer and author, his work in pediatric radiology has assisted many residents with the intricacies of his specialty.

RSNA also named three individuals as honorary members. These awards are presented to those who “have shown exceptional dedication to the field of radiology or have distinguished themselves in medicine or related sciences.”

• The late Professor Walter A. Fuchs, MD, Zurich, Switzerland, was elected an honorary member. Dr. Fuchs was general secretary of the International Society of Radiology from 1973 to 1992. He had an interest in promoting international education in radiology and served as a consultant to the World Health Organization.

• Man Chung Han, MD, PhD, Seoul, Korea, also was elected an honorary member. He is the author of more than 450 articles, most of which cover cardiovascular and interventional radiology.

• Anders Lunderquist, MD, Lund, Sweden, was the third RSNA honorary member. He is a teacher of of vascular and interventional radiology, is considered one of the most experienced angiographers in the world, and has authored more than 200 manuscripts.

Honored lecturers at RSNA ’95’s meeting were Edward V. Staab, MD; William R. Lees, MD; and Sarah S. Donaldson, MD.

• Dr. Staab, chairman of radiology at the University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, Fla., delivered the “RSNA Hartman Lecture/Eugene P. Pendergrass New Horizons Lecture” about reshaping radiology in order to safeguard its future.

• Dr. Lees, professor of medical imaging at University College, London, delivered the “Annual Oration in Diagnostic Radiology,” focusing on new developments in ultrasound and its effective use by radiologists.

• Dr. Donaldson, Catherine and Howard Avery Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, offered the “Annual Oration in Radiation Oncology.” She discussed a multidisciplinary approach to managing rhabdomyosarcoma, a highly malignant embryonal tumor found in children.


RSNA dedicated the program of its 81st Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting in honor of Harry W. Fischer, MD. The dedication was made in honor of Dr. Fischer’s contributions to radiology, particularly for his work with contrast media. He was born in St. Louis in 1921 and earned his medical degree at the University of Chicago.

McCormick Place

According to RSNA’s Daily Bulletin, distributed for five days during the annual meeting, the host facility of RSNA, McCormick Place, is under construction to expand. Construction of a south wing (the annual meeting is historically housed in the north and east wings) is scheduled to be completed by February 1997. The cost of the expansion, along with a renovations of the east wing, will cost about $987 million.

Michael O’Connel, RSNA director of meetings, told the Daily Bulletin that the expansion will directly benefit RSNA by increasing the meeting and exhibit space. RSNA ’97 will take place in the new facility since the east wing will be closed for remodeling as soon as the expansion opens.

This work will make McCormick Place the largest convention site in the Northern Hemisphere, with more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space.

Breast Biopsy Discussed

Among several RSNA press conferences was a discussion concerning cost savings by using needle biopsy to detect breast cancer. As much as $1 billion or more in health care costs could be saved annually in the United States by using needle biopsy techniques instead of surgical biopsy to diagnose breast cancer, the discussion proposed.

“If half of the approximately 800,000 biopsies performed each year were done with SCB (stereotaxic core biopsy), the nation would save $1 billion or more,” said Steven Jay Adler, MD, author of a related study. He is head of mammography at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle.

It was revealed that SCB costs a half to a quarter the cost of open surgical biopsy, is less painful, less disfiguring, requires only local anesthesia and has a very short recovery time.