RSNA 2018 Ultrasound Preview
By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 5, 2018

Ultrasound is the perfect modality for many clinical applications, due to its portability, noninvasive nature, lack of radiation, and relative cost-effectiveness. All these benefits translate into increased interest in putting the modality to use to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases, and this year's RSNA meeting will highlight new ways the technology is changing clinical practice.

One hot topic, in particular, will be contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), which researchers are finding can help diagnose liver cancer, preoperatively evaluate hyperparathyroidism, and monitor tumors following ablation. RSNA 2018 attendees will also encounter lively discussion regarding the uses and benefits of MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS), for everything from prostate cancer to uterine fibroids to using the technology in lieu of pain medication in patients with painful bone metastases.

There's no escaping the burgeoning interest in using artificial intelligence (AI) across all imaging modalities, and ultrasound is no exception. Researchers will present data from studies that explore the application of ultrasound AI that's applied for liver imaging and diagnosing thyroid nodules and gallbladder polyps.

In women's imaging, look for studies that investigate how ultrasound performs in breast screening -- especially relevant given the number of states passing dense breast tissue notification laws -- as well as how the modality works with digital breast tomosynthesis to stage disease. The presentations will also address ultrasound's accuracy for diagnosing ovarian torsion and the use of ultrasound tomography to measure breast tumor volume.

Finally, the RSNA will be offering a variety of ultrasound refresher courses that will cover key topics such as ultrasound for musculoskeletal applications and first-trimester pregnancy, as well as interventional procedures, emergency ultrasound pitfalls, and renal elastography.

Read on for highlights of just some of the many ultrasound research presentations and posters at this year's meeting, or view the complete listing of abstracts for the RSNA 2018 meeting program.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
Subharmonic ultrasound improves prostate diagnosis
Sunday, November 25 | 10:45 a.m.-10:55 a.m. | SSA20-01 | Room S102CD
Contrast-enhanced transrectal subharmonic ultrasound improves the diagnosis of prostate cancer compared with conventional transrectal ultrasound, according to this Sunday morning scientific presentation.
AI algorithm could decrease number of thyroid biopsies
Sunday, November 25 | 10:55 a.m.-11:05 a.m. | SSA12-02 | Room S406B
In this presentation, researchers will describe how the use of an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm could obviate the need for many biopsies performed on thyroid nodules.
Ultrasound tomo beats handheld sonography for gauging tumor volume
Sunday, November 25 | 11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m. | SSA20-04 | Room S102CD
Ultrasound tomography is better than handheld ultrasound when it comes to measuring breast tumor volume, researchers will report in this presentation.
Hands-free ultrasound could guide radiation therapy
Sunday, November 25 | 11:45 a.m.-11:55 a.m. | SSA20-07 | Room S102CD
A hands-free, 4D ultrasound transducer shows promise as a tool that could help guide radiation therapy, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found.
Multiple elastography techniques effective for diagnosing liver disease
Monday, November 26 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSC06-01 | Room N229
Several different elastography techniques -- including shear-wave, MR, and transient elastography -- are all effective methods for diagnosing advanced fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh.
MRgFUS offers alternative to surgery for prostate cancer
Monday, November 26 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSC15-01 | Room E352
MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) offers a safe and effective alternative to surgery for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer, Italian researchers have found.
Tomoelastography helps stage hepatic fibrosis
Monday, November 26 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSC06-02 | Room N229
Tomoelastography shows promise as a tool for mapping the distribution of fibrosis throughout the liver, according to this study to be presented on Monday morning.
MRgFUS feasible for prostate cancer ablation
Monday, November 26 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSC15-02 | Room E352
MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a viable method for prostate cancer ablation, concluded researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
SWE viable for assessing liver fibrosis
Monday, November 26 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSC06-09 | Room N229
How effective is shear-wave elastography (SWE) for assessing liver fibrosis in patients with chronic disease? Very, according to findings being presented on Monday by U.K. researchers.
New ultrasound measure helps diagnose nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
Monday, November 26 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSE07-02 | Room S402AB
In this Monday afternoon session, researchers will discuss how a new ultrasound measure called the venous pulsatility index performs comparably to clinical and lab-based scoring systems for diagnosing high-risk nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
CEUS offers alternative for liver cancer follow-up
Monday, November 26 | 3:30 p.m.-3:40 p.m. | SSE07-04 | Room S402AB
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) offers a viable alternative to CT or MRI for following up hepatocellular carcinoma after treatment, according to researchers from New York.
Breast ultrasound performs well over time
Tuesday, November 27 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSG01-01 | Room S406A
Screening breast ultrasound performs well over the long haul, which is good news in an era when more U.S. states are enacting breast density notification legislation that recommends women with dense tissue undergo supplemental screening.
BI-RADS 3 lesions can be tracked in longer increments
Tuesday, November 27 | 10:50 a.m.-11:00 a.m. | SSG01-03 | Room S406A
It's safe to track BI-RADS 3 lesions found on ultrasound at 12 months, rather than six, U.S. researchers will report in this presentation.
5-point quality score improves breast SWE performance
Tuesday, November 27 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSG01-06 | Room S406A
Using a simple five-point technical quality scale can help radiologists better use shear-wave elastography (SWE) data, according to scientific research to be highlighted on Tuesday morning.
Use SWE to track patellar tendinopathy in athletes
Tuesday, November 27 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSJ16-06 | Room E353B
Shear-wave elastography (SWE) works better than conventional ultrasound for tracking athletes with patellar tendinopathy, or "jumper's knee," researchers from New York City have found.
CEUS helps identify testicular abnormalities
Wednesday, November 28 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSM10-01 | Room E353A
Adding contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to conventional ultrasound improves the accuracy of diagnosing intratesticular lesions -- even among clinicians with a range of experience with the technology, researchers from London will report in this Wednesday presentation.
Low-cost ultrasound viable in underresourced settings
Friday, November 30 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SST04-04 | Room E260
A new, low-cost ultrasound device offers an effective way to perform second-trimester fetal imaging, even by inexperienced users, according to Duke University researchers.