By Kate Madden Yee, staff writer
November 2, 2016

Can telerobotic ultrasound effectively perform abdominal exams? Could ultrasound tomography replace breast MRI? Does ultrasound boost the effects of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients? And is whole-breast ultrasound really necessary for women who are undergoing tomosynthesis?

At the upcoming RSNA 2016 meeting in Chicago, researchers will address these questions and many more. Key themes this year will include how ultrasound can help clinicians make better staging and treatment plans, distinguish between benign and malignant lesions, and track healing.

You'll hear research on using high-intensity focused ultrasound to treat fibroids, how musculoskeletal shoulder ultrasound can help evaluate rotator cuff injuries, the benefits of using weight-bearing ultrasound to triage patients with medial knee pain, and how contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) can characterize malignant versus benign focal liver lesions.

As for breast imaging, presenters plan to discuss topics as varied as how ultrasound can help predict breast cancer's chemotherapy response, even before changes in tumor size are seen; the pros and cons of whole-breast screening ultrasound versus contrast-enhanced digital mammography; whether CEUS is a viable alternative to surgery for lymph node staging; and if the axilla really needs to be included when women undergo supplemental screening breast ultrasound.

If you need to refresh your skills, RSNA 2016 has got you covered, with a bevy of courses that will address gynecologic, musculoskeletal, renal, and thyroid ultrasound, as well as interventional sonography and molecular imaging.

Finally, look for sessions on emerging technologies, such as elastography and using ultrasound with microbubbles as a molecular imaging technique, in addition to a few hot topic sessions that will explore how to identify the Zika virus on ultrasound and using the modality for pelvic imaging in the emergency department.

For highlights of some of the many ultrasound research papers and posters scheduled for presentation at this year's meeting, read on. To view RSNA's complete listing of abstracts for this year's scientific and educational program, click here.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
Technologists handle ABUS just as well as sonographers
Sunday, November 27 | 10:55 a.m.-11:05 a.m. | SSA02-02 | Room N228
Mammography technologists' performance with diagnostic automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) is comparable to that of sonographers, according to research being presented on Sunday morning at RSNA 2016.
Focused US boosts chemo's effects for pancreatic cancer
Monday, November 28 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSC16-04 | Room E352
The mechanics of focused ultrasound enhance the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy in patients with pancreatic cancer, South Korean researchers have found.
HIFU good for fibroid treatment
Monday, November 28 | 3:20 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSE25-03 | Room N226
In this session, researchers will present findings that suggest portable, ultrasound-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is an effective and safe way to treat uterine fibroids.
Musculoskeletal shoulder US aids clinical decisions
Tuesday, November 29 | 9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. | RC304-02 | Room E450A
Musculoskeletal shoulder ultrasound is a useful diagnostic imaging modality for evaluating rotator cuff injuries, according to research being presented on Tuesday morning.
Elbow stress ultrasound helps diagnose UCL tears
Tuesday, November 29 | 9:30 a.m.-9:40 a.m. | RC304-05 | Room E450A
Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University have found that an emerging ultrasound technique -- elbow stress ultrasound -- shows promise for diagnosing ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tears.
Weight-bearing US of meniscus identifies unstable tears
Tuesday, November 29 | 10:50 a.m.-11:00 a.m. | RC304-08 | Room E450A
In this Tuesday morning presentation, researchers will share results from a study that investigated the role of screening ultrasound for differentiating unstable meniscal tears from chronic tears.
RTE, SWE help track muscle injury healing
Tuesday, November 29 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | RC304-09 | Room E450A
Real-time elastography (RTE) and shear-wave elastography (SWE) can help clinicians assess the healing process in lower-limb muscle tears, and they are useful for tracking athletes with these injuries, according to a study from Italy.
Contrast-enhanced US helps characterize liver lesions
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ08-01 | Room E353A
In this session, researchers will present findings that suggest contrast-enhanced ultrasound can help radiologists better characterize malignant versus benign focal liver lesions.
Subharmonic US helps predict breast cancer chemo response
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ21-01 | Room S403A
Contrast-enhanced subharmonic imaging and 4D subharmonic-aided pressure estimation may help clinicians predict the chemotherapy treatment response of breast cancers before tumor size changes can be seen, according to researchers from Thomas Jefferson University.
CEUS matches CT, MRI for evaluating liver masses
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSJ08-02 | Room E353A
Canadian researchers have found that contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) performs better than grayscale ultrasound for evaluating focal liver masses -- and its performance is at least equivalent to CT and MRI.
Could US tomography replace MRI for breast imaging?
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:20 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSJ02-03 | Room E450A
Could ultrasound tomography replace -- or at least offer an alternative to -- breast MRI? Perhaps, according to researchers from Delphinus Medical Technologies.
Contrast mammo more sensitive than WBUS for breast screening
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSJ01-05 | Arie Crown Theater
In this Tuesday session, researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will present study data that show contrast-enhanced digital mammography to be more sensitive than whole-breast screening ultrasound (WBUS) for supplemental breast cancer screening.
Can telerobotic US effectively perform abdominal exams?
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSJ08-05 | Room E353A
Can a telerobotic ultrasound system effectively perform abdominal ultrasound exams -- and therefore expand patients' access to care? Yes, according to research being discussed on Tuesday.
CEUS biopsy shows promise for breast cancer staging
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSJ02-06 | Room E450A
Microbubble contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) fine-needle aspiration biopsy is a viable, less invasive way to evaluate sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer patients compared with surgical lymph node staging, according to a new study.
Does including the axilla help or hinder breast US?
Wednesday, November 30 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSK02-02 | Room E451A
Should the axilla be included in supplemental screening breast ultrasound? Probably not, according to South Korean researchers.
BI-RADS 3 breast lesions safe to track with 12-month US
Wednesday, November 30 | 10:50 a.m.-11:00 a.m. | SSK02-03 | Room E451A
Supplemental ultrasound for women with dense breasts finds cancers mammography doesn't, but it can also lead to many follow-ups at short-term intervals, especially if lesions are categorized as BI-RADS 3. Could these lesions be tracked at a longer interval?
CAD improves ABUS efficiency in women with dense tissue
Wednesday, November 30 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSK02-04 | Room E451A
European researchers have found that dedicated computer-aided detection (CAD) software for automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) improves the efficiency of the modality when used for supplemental imaging in women with dense breast tissue.
CAD improves radiologists' ABUS reads
Wednesday, November 30 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSK02-05 | Room E451A
Using computer-aided detection (CAD) software with automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) improves radiologists' interpretation performance, both in accuracy and reading time, according to researchers from China.
Breast cancers found only on US have positive outcomes
Wednesday, November 30 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSK02-08 | Room E451A
Do breast cancers found only on ultrasound have positive outcomes? Yes, according to this study from South Korea.
Is WBUS necessary for women undergoing tomosynthesis?
Wednesday, November 30 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSK02-09 | Room E451A
In this Wednesday session, researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will share research that indicates the clinical value of whole-breast ultrasound (WBUS) is reduced in women undergoing digital breast tomosynthesis rather than regular digital mammography.