Radiology remains integral to the growth of healthcare in Brazil, according to presenters who offered the latest state-of-the-art in MR imaging during the “Brazil Presents” session at RSNA 2012.
Brazil, which offers universal health coverage that is utilized by 75 percent of the public, is now the fifth-largest buyer of MR imaging devices in the world, according to moderator Pedro Daltro, M.D., who outlined the country’s healthcare expenditures, including medical diagnostics.
Douglas Racy, M.D., whose presentation focused on factors that can influence the quality of MR imaging, was among the Brazilian presenters who demonstrated highly advanced techniques in a variety of MR applications.
“There are tradeoffs for MR imaging parameters,” Dr. Racy explained. “Often we cannot gain advantage in one parameter without sacrificing another.” He outlined techniques to ensure the appropriate tradeoffs for various clinical indications, emphasizing the best quality in the shortest acquisition time.
“As the number and complexity of identified midbrain-hindbrain malformations has increased, neuroradiologists must be prepared to study and discuss with neurologists and geneticists the embryological events and genetic mutations,” said Leonardo Vedolin, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Vedolin noted that the current pattern-recognition approach to MR imaging has limitations and identified developmentally based classification methods for congenital posterior fossa malformations.
Emerson Gasparetto, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated advanced MR techniques including images acquired at 7T for distinguishing demyelinating diseases from tumors, infection, vascular disease and other demyelinating diseases.
“The most common reason for falsely attributing a patient’s symptoms to multiple sclerosis is faulty interpretation of MR imaging,” said Dr. Gasparetto, who also demonstrated the role of advanced MR in assessing treatment response, progression and prognosis.
In characterizing hypervascular lesions in the cirrhotic liver, MR imaging tools can help narrow the differential diagnosis, said Antonio Eiras de Araujo, M.D., who outlined diagnostic approaches and management techniques for challenging cases.
“Hypervascular lesions are common in the cirrhotic liver and differentiating them is a relevant responsibility of the radiologist,” Dr. Eiras de Araujo said.
In his visually engaging presentation of advances in fetal MR imaging technology, Dr. Daltro explained how 3D simulation videos can be created to demonstrate a virtual path through anatomical structures and how, for example, a facial mass can obstruct the airway. He also showed how imaging can guide molds for physical models of the fetus and internal structures.
The MR imaging research is a good example of the promise Brazil holds for the future, according to Manoel Aparecido Gomes da Silva, M.D., president of the Colégio Brasileiro de Radiologia e Diagnóstico por Imagem, CBR (Brazilian College of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging), who gave the opening address at Brazil Presents.
Radiology centers at Brazil’s largest medical institutions are conducting cutting-edge research, offering postgraduate courses and training a new class of radiologists whose skills will benefit the country at large, Dr. Gomes da Silva said.
“Our current challenge is to disseminate to more distant regions a better quality of radiology, similar to that practiced in large cities,” he added.
Brazil’s research output has grown quickly in recent years and is likely to continue on that course, Dr. Daltro said.
“The government is investing more not only in infrastructure for research, but also in people by offering scholarships in Brazil and abroad,” he said.
RSNA has partnered with the Radiological and Diagnostic Imaging Society of São Paulo (SPR) for the joint planning of Jornada Paulista de Radiologia (JPR) in 2014, 2016 and 2018. JPR is the leading medical imaging meeting in Latin America.
RSNA forms international alliances to develop and enhance the contact between radiologists and professionals from various regions of the world. Collaborating on scientific meetings like JPR is an important example of this work.
After many years of attending JPR meetings, RSNA and SPR leaders decided that a partnership would benefit their shared goal of advancing radiologic science and education internationally. They agreed to work together to plan and implement a meeting in 2014, designed to showcase some of the best work offered by both organizations.
In 2014, 2016, and 2018, RSNA will work closely with SPR to plan meeting content, provide speakers and assist in developing materials and courses that are not typically offered at JPR.
“We look forward to collaborating with SPR on a variety of initiatives to bring unique opportunities to radiologists in Brazil,” said Richard L. Baron, M.D., RSNA Board Liaison for International Affairs. “Initially, this endeavor will begin with RSNA participating in the JPR program planning and sending expert speakers to help facilitate nontraditional sessions.”
The partnership is expected to extend beyond the meeting to promote membership in both organizations.
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