The University of Wisconsin-Madison CT Protocol Optimization Team has been keeping very busy. Not only have we continued to see increased distribution of the UW CT protocols (1,175 GE scanners were shipped with our protocols installed through September 2017), but more importantly, we’re seeing increased utilization. It is still a bit slower than we like, but it’s accelerating.
We are proud to announce that this month a major health care consortium in the South has decided to convert their entire CT operation to the UW protocols. This may be the break we have been waiting for as other large providers will certainly take notice. In this era of cost containment and standardization, our protocols deliver just that, so we hope more organizations will adopt them.
Radiologists, physicists, and technologists, both inside and outside of our organization, have provided their CT expertise and collaboration to identify areas for improvement, and we are happy to declare that many of those improvements were implemented in Version 3.0 of the UW CT protocols, which were submitted to GE in December after extensive validation.
Congratulations to all of us — the CT protocol optimization team; the UW Radiologists (both academic and community), especially the CT section leads; the medical physicists; all of our hardworking technologists and nurses; and the IT support staff. We thank all of you for your constant surveillance of protocol and CT image quality and helping make our protocols so robust. There is nothing else like this on the planet.
It has been a wonderfully fulfilling adventure so far and promises to just keep getting more interesting.
- Myron Pozniak MD
Each month David Bluemke, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Radiology and editor of the journal Radiology, releases a podcast which highlights key articles and topics included in that months edition of Radiology. The podcasts begin with an introduction where Bluemke notes and briefly summarizes a few interesting stories before moving into discussing the three or so key articles included in the issue.
In the most recent podcast this included articles on patient experience in CT colonography and flexible sigmoidoscopy screening, the effectiveness of staged ultrasonography and unenhanced MR imaging in diagnosing pediatric appendicitis, and a look at white matter microstructure and functional task-related neural activity in former football players in relation to career duration, concussion history, and playing position. Transcripts of the podcasts are also available each month.
To view the current month’s podcast as well as those from previous issues, visit the Radiology Podcasts webpage
By sparing the radiation required for one examination, more studies can be performed without surpassing the radiation exposure from previous methods, allowing for closer monitoring of disease activity. Conversely, more frequent scans may indicate remission achievement, thereby allowing the reduction or cessation of drug intervention, which can also have significant side effects and substantial financial cost. Prompt detection of inflammation, which can occur in the absence of clinical symptoms such as pain or nausea, may facilitate rapid treatment and support prevention of serious complications. Therefore, with the development of new low dose imaging techniques, imaging techniques that were previously reserved for diagnosis or extent of disease evaluation can now be used as screening examinations, providing valuable information to better guide and inform future care.
In radiology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more specifically Deep Learning, has been of significant interest, as evidenced by the rapid growth of research and incredible amount of investment by corporations and institutions. AI adaptations for a multitude of different applications across radiology are being developed, from computer aided diagnosis (CAD) to improving PACS to EMR crosstalk. Ultimately, continued AI research will accelerate progress in the field of radiology and result in improved diagnosis and treatment for patients. In this project, AI is being used to reduce radiation exposure, by training an algorithm to recognize the features of a full-dose image from an acquired low-dose image thereby allowing a low-dose image to be used in place of the conventional full-dose images.
“It is an honor for me to receive this grant from the RSNA so that I have the opportunity to pursue my research interests in Artificial Intelligence with Dr. McMillan at the University of Wisconsin,” said Park. “Having recently matched into an academic radiology residency program, I hope to continue my research throughout my career and contribute to the field of radiology. AI has enormous potential and only through continued progress and efforts can we discover all the ways in which we can improve the lives of patients.”
The full article can be read at appliedradiology.com
Dr. Weibo Cai was promoted to Professor on the Tenure Track. Dr. Cai was recognized for his international reputation in molecular imaging, specifically focusing on nanotechnology applications for developing new molecular imaging agents.
Dr. Chris François was promoted to Professor (CHS). His promotion was based on his innovative contributions to cardiovascular imaging, especially techniques using 4D flow methods in order to provide comprehensive information about hemodynamics and cardiovascular function in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Allison Grayev was promoted to Associate Professor (CHS) in recognition of her work with medical student and resident education. Dr. Grayev’s promotion was based on her outstanding creativity and dedication to educate medical students. As co-director of the gross anatomy course, Allison has worked hard to improve the curricular format as well as the effectiveness of the material presented to the students.
Dr. Emily Lewis was promoted to Clinical Professor for her excellence in clinical practice and dedication to educating medical students. In addition to her specialized clinical practice realms, Dr. Lewis has promoted uniformity in reporting practices in thyroid imaging and is a leader in promoting evidence-based medicine.
Dr. John Park was promoted to a Clinical Professor in the Community Radiology Section. Dr. Park has worked hard as the Community Radiology scheduler, not only to ensure the Community Division is running efficiently, but also that decisions are made by taking in account opinions of all the employees. He has made many contributions that aim to improve patient care, as well as the protocol given to treat the patients.
Dr. Jason Pinchot was promoted to Associate Professor (CHS). He has made a significant clinical impact in the development of the vascular anomalies service at the University of Wisconsin and at the American Family Children’s Hospital. In partnership with Dr. Aagaard-Kienitz and others outside of the Department, Dr. Pinchot has developed a regionally recognized service for the treatment and diagnosis of vascular anomalies.
Dr. Conrad Pun was promoted to a Clinical Associate Professor. This promotion was based on his dedication to improving patient care. Dr. Pun made multiple contributions that have improved patient outcomes, increased comfort and efficiency of the care given to patients in the UnityPoint-Meriter campus.
Dr. Elizabeth Sadowski was promoted to Professor (CHS) due to her national reputation using MRI to diagnose and treat diseases involving the female pelvis, specifically uterine and ovarian malignancies. Dr. Sadowski has made an important impact as a result of her contributions to national consensus guidelines for image acquisition and interpretation of MRIs.
Dr. Frank Thornton was promoted to Professor (CHS) in recognition of his clinical excellence and the development of a national program for community-based radiology groups within academic radiology programs. Dr. Thornton has been highly instrumental in developing an approach to leverage the unique contributions of the Community and Academic divisions within the UW Department of Radiology.
Congratulations to these faculty members and best wishes in their new ranks!