Physicians worldwide use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) to diagnose and treat common diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. These scans also assist physicians in diagnosing and treating infections, trauma, stroke, seizures and tumors.
At the forefront of modern medicine, imaging also plays a key role in diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In 2010, about 2.5 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations or deaths were associated with TBI in the U.S.
“Countless brain imaging examinations are performed each year to help doctors make treatment decisions safely, quickly and efficiently,” said Bibb Allen Jr., M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors. “These scans are essential to providing quality patient care.”
Radiation therapy plays an important role in the treatment of some brain diseases, such as cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates 23,380 new cases of brain (and other nervous system cancer) will be diagnosed in 2014. Fifty percent of brain cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy are being treated with the goal of curing cancer.
“Radiologists’ value to health care lies in our being able to determine the right imaging study for the patient, to perform imaging so as to obtain optimal images with the lowest possible risk to the patient, to make and communicate an accurate diagnosis in a timely fashion, and to supply imaging to help follow the progress of treatment,” said 2014 RSNA President N. Reed Dunnick, M.D. “We provide critical information in consultations with referring physicians and assist them and our patients in understanding what we have found on our imaging studies.”
Patients are the primary focus of all radiologic care, which is highlighted in the RSNA’s Radiology Cares initiative. ACR and RSNA jointly sponsor RadiologyInfo.org, an important resource that explains medical imaging tests and treatments in detailed, easy-to-understand language, helping patients to understand and prepare for imaging procedures.
About the American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1964, is one of the largest and most influential medical associations in the United States. The ACR devotes its resources to making imaging and radiation therapy safe, effective and accessible to those who need it. Its 36,000 members include radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, interventional radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians.
About the Radiological Society of North America
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is an association of more than 54,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists, promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)