RSNA 2017 CT Preview
By Abraham Kim, staff writer
November 2, 2017

With less than a month to go, RSNA 2017 is nigh upon us. For all those partial to CT, this could mean exploring the most advanced methods to refine diagnoses, track diseases, and even predict the onset of adverse events.

The unending pursuit of CT image quality will be one of the key themes of this year's conference: Ultrahigh-resolution photon-counting CT, iterative reconstruction, and temporal subtraction techniques are just a few of the many CT technologies that researchers have been investigating.

RSNA 2017 attendees will be able to learn about how quantitative CT can improve the monitoring of myelomas, how photon-counting CT can boost the resolution of brain and lung scans, and how image processing algorithms can reduce more image noise and artifacts on chest and abdominal CT scans than ever before.

Investigators have also been uncovering ways to polish image quality while simultaneously lowering radiation dose. For example, a team will explain how it was able to reconstruct dual-energy CT scans to churn out higher-quality images at lower radiation doses -- the radiology equivalent of killing two birds with one stone.

Beyond diagnosis, radiologists will further present how they have been using CT for prognosis. One group used dynamic CT myocardial perfusion to predict adverse cardiac advents and mortality, especially in cases of coronary artery disease. In addition, researchers will discuss how fractional flow reserve CT angiography might be used to both detect stenosis and help determine surgical management.

Looking at the big picture, radiologists are striving to improve patient care and to do so in the most efficient manner. This includes tailoring optimal radiation doses via tube current modulation and bolstering the efficiency of CT scan acquisition in emergency settings.

Passing over to the hereafter, various RSNA sessions will delve into the usefulness of postmortem CT. A research team will detail how it used CT in the personal identification of cadavers. In a similar vein, another group found that CT was better at pinpointing cause of death than the age-old invasive technique of autopsy.

Questions remain even with all this information: When is it most beneficial to use CT over other imaging modalities? Is CT ever safe during pregnancy? What is the impact of CT on therapeutic decision-making?

For more details, check out the complete listing of abstracts for RSNA 2017 available here. But don't change stations just yet. A collection of noteworthy sessions is laid out for your reading pleasure below. Though these links are a mere smattering of droplets in the vast ocean of RSNA presentations, they highlight some of the key ongoing advancements in the field today.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
Onsite FFR-CCTA detects coronary artery stenosis
Sunday, November 26 | 11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m. | SSA04-04 | Room S504AB
In this study, Dutch researchers used software to semiautomatically estimate fractional flow reserve (FFR) from coronary CT angiography (CCTA) images. They found that the technique increased the speed and accuracy of diagnosing stenosis in coronary arteries.
Photon-counting CT improves resolution, reduces radiation
Sunday, November 26 | 11:25 a.m.-11:35 a.m. | SSA21-05 | Room S404AB
Continuing advances have given rise to an ultrahigh-resolution photon-counting detector CT technique that improves resolution and allows for reductions in radiation dose, according to U.S. researchers.
Is FFR-CT the new one-stop shop for CAD management?
Sunday, November 26 | 12:05 p.m.-12:15 p.m. | SSA04-09 | Room S504AB
Fractional flow reserve CT (FFR-CT) matches the accuracy of invasive coronary angiography in identifying coronary artery disease (CAD) and may help determine its management, according to a study to be presented on Sunday.
Dose tracking software finds CTA won't harm fetuses
Sunday, November 26 | 12:05 p.m.-12:15 p.m. | SSA06-09 | Room N226
German researchers using radiation dose management and tracking software have found that pulmonary CT angiography (CTA) is safe to perform during pregnancy.
CT temporal subtraction helps detect spinal bone metastases
Sunday, November 26 | 12:05 p.m.-12:15 p.m. | SSA15-09 | Room S406B
Integrating a temporal subtraction technique into CT scans improves the detection of sclerotic bone metastases in the spine, according to researchers from Japan.
Muscle attenuation on CT predicts mortality
Monday, November 27 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSC09-01 | Room E450B
Researchers have discovered that the condition of paraspinous muscles on CT reveals a difference between the sexes: Muscle attenuation around the spine is associated with mortality in males but not females.
Dynamic stress CT perfusion predicts adverse cardiac events
Monday, November 27 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSC02-05 | Room S504AB
In this session, researchers from Japan will describe how they successfully used dynamic stress CT myocardial perfusion to predict major adverse cardiac events in patients suspected of having coronary artery disease.
Study refines lung hamartoma diagnosis on CT
Monday, November 27 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSC03-06 | Room S504CD
A team of researchers from Israel is proposing an increase in the current threshold for identifying fat in suspected cases of lung hamartoma to improve accuracy.
Can CT differentiate low- from high-grade renal tumors?
Monday, November 27 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSC06-06 | Room N230B
Radiologists can combine subjective and quantitative analyses of CT scans to help them grade chromophobe renal cell carcinomas, Canadian researchers will report in this Monday morning presentation.
CT dose excellence program yields optimized dose
Monday, November 27 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | QS110-ED-MOA2 | Lakeside, QS Community, Station 2
A Swiss team will describe how it successfully implemented an initiative to standardize CT scanning protocols and optimize radiation dose.
Postmortem CT challenges autopsy to spot cause of death
Monday, November 27 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSE06-01 | Room N228
Postmortem CT may be just as accurate as conventional autopsy for identifying cause of death, Dutch researchers have found.
CT sheds light on mass disaster victims
Monday, November 27 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSE06-02 | Room N228
In this presentation, Italian researchers will share how mobile CT scanners can play a pivotal role in the personal identification of cadavers in mass disasters.
Relaying CT info reduces stay for rule-out appendicitis
Monday, November 27 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSE13-02 | Room S104B
Directly communicating findings on CT scans for suspected appendicitis boosts the speed at which patients are appropriately treated or discharged from the emergency department, according to Boston researchers.
Study finds CT is overused for minor head injuries
Monday, November 27 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSE19-02 | Room N230B
A majority of CT scans of the head used to evaluate minor injuries may be unnecessary, say Italian researchers.
Low- or standard-dose CT for diagnosing appendicitis?
Monday, November 27 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSE09-05 | Room E353B
In this afternoon session, South Korean researchers will compare the diagnostic performance of low-dose CT with standard-dose CT for appendicitis in all age groups.
Voltage-tailored contrast protocol aids CCTA
Tuesday, November 28 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSG02-04 | Room S504AB
Customizing CT contrast dose while also improving efficacy and patient safety is an ongoing challenge. In this presentation, U.S. researchers will offer a way to do just that for coronary CT angiography (CCTA) exams.
RadLex Playbook can boost radiation dose reporting
Tuesday, November 28 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSG07-05 | Room N230B
The RadLex Playbook shows promise for streamlining and improving the monitoring and reporting of radiation dose from CT scans, according to researchers from Stanford University.
Dual-energy CT analysis predicts metastasis of neck SCC
Tuesday, November 28 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSG11-06 | Room N229
In this study, Canadian researchers investigated the potential of analyzing dual-energy CT scans to determine the nodal status of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in the head and neck.
Iterative recon tool enables tailored noise control on CT scans
Tuesday, November 28 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSG15-08 | Room S503AB
Using an iterative reconstruction tool to measure the texture and magnitude of image noise allows radiologists to standardize image quality preferences on CT scans, say researchers from France.
Dose monitoring program lowers average dose in Taiwan
Tuesday, November 28 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | IN004-EC-TUA | Lakeside, IN Community, Custom Application Computer Demonstration
Researchers from Taiwan will present a scientific poster describing their institution's success with implementing a radiation exposure monitoring system.
What factors affect CT time efficiency in acute stroke?
Tuesday, November 28 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ06-01 | Room N227B
How quickly CT scans of acute stroke are ready for interpretation depends on scanner location, time of day, and the operating radiologic technologist, according to U.S. researchers.
Algorithm virtually enhances resolution of microdose CT
Tuesday, November 28 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSJ22-02 | Room S403B
A major drawback of lowering CT radiation dose is a loss in image quality, but researchers found that microdose CT can deliver high-quality scans with the aid of a deep-learning algorithm.
Simulation yields organ-specific radiation dose estimates
Tuesday, November 28 | 3:20 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSJ22-03 | Room S403B
In this presentation, researchers will share how precise organ doses from lung cancer screening with tube current-modulated low-dose CT scans can be effectively estimated using simulation techniques.
Radiologist CTC experience crucial in spotting adenoma
Wednesday, November 29 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSK08-01 | Room E353B
The more experience radiologists have in evaluating CT colonography (CTC) scans, the better they seem to be at identifying adenomas, according to researchers from Italy.
Perfusion CT predicts edema after cerebellar stroke
Wednesday, November 29 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSK15-01 | Room N226
Which imaging modality is best-suited for predicting malignant cerebellar edema after the occurrence of acute cerebellar stroke? A team of German researchers recently explored this question.
Iterative recon lowers CT radiation dose for calcium score
Wednesday, November 29 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSK03-04 | Room S502AB
Researchers from Italy have discovered that iterative reconstruction can lower the CT radiation dose needed to determine coronary artery calcium scores.
CT matches MRI for assessing hepatocellular carcinoma
Wednesday, November 29 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSK06-07 | Room E350
Adding CT to MRI could boost the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma, and CT itself may serve as a viable substitute for suboptimal MR images, according to researchers from South Korea.
CTC modifies surgical plan for colorectal cancer
Wednesday, November 29 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSK08-09 | Room E353B
Accurate identification of colorectal carcinomas can improve the surgical outcome of patients. Such was the case when Spanish researchers investigated the clinical usefulness of CT colonography (CTC) for spotting synchronous colorectal cancer.
What factors delay lung cancer diagnosis on CT CAC?
Wednesday, November 29 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSM04-06 | Room S504AB
CT for coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring is susceptible to detection and interpretation errors that may delay the diagnosis of lung cancer, according to researchers from South Korea.
Who uses CCTA more: radiologists or cardiologists?
Thursday, November 30 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSQ02-08 | Room S502AB
The ongoing tug-of-war between radiologists and cardiologists may be starting to favor one end: Radiologists now utilize coronary CT angiography (CCTA) at a higher rate than cardiologists do, according to this presentation.
More lung cancer facilities may not mean more screening
Thursday, November 30 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSQ05-09 | Room S402AB
The availability of screening facilities does not necessarily affect lung cancer outcomes, according to this preliminary analysis of the American College of Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Registry.