RSNA 2018 CT Preview
By Abraham Kim, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 1, 2018

CT has been a mainstay of medical imaging since the modality got its start in the 1970s. The plethora of scientific presentations centered around CT at this year's RSNA conference speaks to the modality's impressive resilience.

Continuing to push the boundaries of what CT can offer, researchers from across the globe have been hard at work on new developments. Artificial intelligence algorithms, computer-aided detection, and updated protocols are just a few of the tools that have helped curtail CT radiation dose -- one of the modality's key concerns -- while also boosting image resolution.

This march toward safer, higher-quality imaging is exemplified in the ongoing development of ultrahigh-resolution CT scanners. Early studies testing the technology have proved promising, reporting markedly enhanced spatial resolution at relatively low radiation doses.

Coronary artery disease will be one of the primary conditions discussed at RSNA 2018 in light of the growing collection of options for heart imaging. Coronary CT angiography, fractional flow reserve, and CT perfusion all offer distinct advantages in identifying heart disease as well as potentially predicting future adverse events. Several presenters and educators at the meeting will detail the pros and cons of these and other CT techniques as they seek to pinpoint the best use for each.

With the release of positive new results from the large-scale Dutch-Belgian Randomized Lung Cancer Screening (NELSON) trial still hot off the presses, it's no surprise that CT lung cancer screening is positioned to be a major talking point at the conference.

What factors are limiting individuals' access to screening? How might artificial intelligence and computer-aided detection improve the efficiency of reviewing CT screening exams? Could a different imaging modality be better-suited for the task? More than a few researchers will strive to address such pressing issues.

A selection of notable presentations relevant to the CT community have been handpicked and described in the list below. For a complete catalog of scientific abstracts and educational programs, view the RSNA 2018 meeting program.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
Photon-counting CT boosts resolution of lung imaging
Sunday, November 25 | 10:45 a.m.-10:55 a.m. | SSA05-01 | Room E451A
U.S. researchers used photon-counting CT scans of the chest to capture tiny details in patients' lungs, with notably higher spatial resolution than conventional CT, according to this study to be presented on Sunday.
Is FFR-CT or CT perfusion better for evaluating CAD?
Sunday, November 25 | 10:55 a.m.-11:05 a.m. | SSA03-02 | Room S404AB
Both fractional flow reserve CT (FFR-CT) and CT perfusion are viable options for detecting stenosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), though CT perfusion may be more accurate, according to researchers from Italy.
New CT biomarker may help predict lung cancer mortality
Sunday, November 25 | 10:55 a.m.-11:05 a.m. | SSA05-02 | Room E451A
Can emphysema scores drawn from CT scans help improve predictions concerning lung cancer mortality? The answer was yes for researchers from the Netherlands.
CT perfusion tops FFR-CT in predicting cardiac events
Sunday, November 25 | 11:05 a.m.-11:15 a.m. | SSA03-03 | Room S404AB
CT myocardial perfusion may be a better predictor for major adverse cardiac events in patients with coronary artery disease than fractional flow reserve CT (FFR-CT), according to this study being presented on Sunday.
Deep-learning algorithm automates FFR-CT estimation
Sunday, November 25 | 11:35 a.m.-11:45 a.m. | SSA03-06 | Room S404AB
Researchers from Japan have developed a deep-learning model capable of automatically estimating minimum fractional flow reserve CT (FFR-CT) with an accuracy approaching that of invasive FFR.
Abdominal CT protocols confuse nonradiology clinicians
Sunday, November 25 | 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | QI101-ED-SUB1 | Lakeside, QR Community, Station 1
The majority of nonradiology clinicians are not entirely sure which type of abdominal CT exam -- with or without contrast -- is most appropriate for patients presenting with pain or disease of the abdomen, according to this Sunday poster presentation.
AI taps prognostic power of CT lung cancer screening
Monday, November 26 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSC03-01 | Room E451A
By analyzing CT lung cancer screening exams, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm can predict the likelihood of five other major diseases, researchers from California will report in this presentation.
CT biomarker helps stage chronic liver disease
Monday, November 26 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSC06-04 | Room N229
Liver surface nodularity -- a quantitative biomarker evident on CT scans -- accurately stages chronic liver disease nearly as well as traditional liver biopsy, according to researchers from Alabama.
CAD cuts reading time for CT lung cancer screening
Monday, November 26 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSC03-05 | Room E451A
Computer-aided detection (CAD) can help radiologists as they look for nodules on CT lung cancer screening exams -- in particular, by speeding up the process, according to this Monday presentation.
CT perfusion plus CCTA improves diagnosis of CAD
Monday, November 26 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSC01-06 | Room S504CD
A group from Italy found that stress coronary CT perfusion in addition to coronary CT angiography (CCTA) can enhance the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients at intermediate to high risk for the disease.
Does mental illness affect access to CT lung screening?
Monday, November 26 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSC03-06 | Room E451A
In this Monday presentation, researchers from Boston will discuss the relationship between mental illness and CT lung cancer screening eligibility.
CT lung screening program targets poor minorities
Monday, November 26 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSC03-07 | Room E451A
In this session, California-based researchers will discuss the distinct cancer profile of socioeconomically disadvantaged minorities at high risk of lung cancer who participated in a free CT lung screening program.
CCTA, CT perfusion bolster coronary stent evaluation
Monday, November 26 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSC01-09 | Room S504CD
Combining coronary CT angiography (CCTA) with stress CT perfusion increases the accuracy of diagnosing in-stent restenosis in patients with heart disease, according to this study to be presented on Monday.
Could MRI replace CT for lung cancer screening?
Monday, November 26 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSC03-09 | Room E451A
MRI could be a more cost-effective alternative to CT for lung cancer screening, say researchers from the U.S., Switzerland, and Germany who used a prediction model to compare the two exams.
Resolution reference level helps optimize CT radiation
Monday, November 26 | 3:20 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSE22-03 | Room S504AB
U.S. researchers have proposed a new metric for evaluating CT radiation exposure -- resolution reference level -- that may help optimize image quality and dose standards across different institutions.
Delayed-enhancement CT predicts adverse cardiac events
Monday, November 26 | 3:30 p.m.-3:40 p.m. | SSE03-04 | Room N229
Researchers from Japan discovered that delayed contrast enhancement on CT was an independent predictor of major adverse cardiac events in patients with suspected coronary artery disease.
CCTA shows exercise reduces risk of heart disease
Monday, November 26 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSE03-06 | Room N229
Individuals who participated in endurance training had significantly fewer plaques on coronary CT angiography (CCTA) scans and a lower risk of coronary artery disease than individuals who did not regularly exercise, according to a study by researchers from Austria.
Radiologists dominate emergency CT utilization
Tuesday, November 27 | 3:20 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSJ06-03 | Room S402AB
The utilization rate of CT in U.S. hospital emergency departments has sharply increased since 2004, with radiologists continuing to perform most CT interpretations for nearly all subcategories, researchers will report in this Tuesday presentation.
Do older patients wait longer for CT trauma evaluation?
Tuesday, November 27 | 3:30 p.m.-3:40 p.m. | SSJ06-04 | Room S402AB
Older trauma patients tend to wait longer for CT exams than younger patients do, despite presenting with similar types of injuries, researchers have found.
Is CCTA, MRI, or transthoracic echo best for predicting stroke?
Wednesday, November 28 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSK03-01 | Room S102CD
Researchers from Germany and the U.S. have discovered that coronary CT angiography (CCTA), cardiac MRI, and transthoracic echocardiography have comparable accuracy in predicting stroke recurrence.
AI algorithm makes CT lung screening possible below 1 mSv
Thursday, November 29 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSQ05-06 | Room E353B
Clinicians may be able to lower the radiation dose required for CT lung cancer screening considerably with the assistance of an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can reduce image noise on CT scans, according to researchers from Israel.
Mobile CT primed for image-guided brachytherapy
Thursday, November 29 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSQ17-09 | Room N229
Mobile CT scanning combined with an artifact-reduction algorithm may enhance the visualization of soft tissue for radiotherapy, according to this Thursday session.