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RSNA History – Part 10

In the previous part, we discussed how the RSNA survived extremely adverse conditions during World War II. In this section, we highlight the significant radiology advances that took place following the end of war. It is a fact that several radiology technologies, applied in war, were used later in healthcare industry, as a result to the major radiology advances in the late 1940s.

As a beginning, during the 32nd annual meeting of RSNA in 1946, that took place at Palmer House hotel in Chicago, RSNA President, Lowell S. Goin, MD, saw a presentation of scientific papers resulted from the Plutonium Project. The project was using radioisotopes during war but the presentation was discussing the use of radioisotopes for treatment rather that diagnosis of diseases. That presentation represented a new radiology era where the use of radiology was divided into diagnostic and treating aspects.

Moreover, efforts were carried out in another issue, which was the intensification of X-ray images on television. W. Edward Chamberlain, MD, gave an RSNA Carman lecture before war highlighting the fact that fluoroscopic screen gave poor quality. This was due to the screens being 30,000 times dimmer than the brightness of an abdominal radiograph. When the war was finished, R. H. Morgan, MD, used a combination between electronic image-intensifier tubes and television equipment, thus creating an automatic brightness control, and significantly improving the quality of the produced images. Another step towards enhanced radiology practice was the publication of an important paper, prepared by Merrill C. Sosman, MD; the paper was titled “Venous Catheterization of the Heart,” in radiology. The paper was discussing a previous study, carried out by Werner Forssmann, a German physician, that described how to introduce a catheter safely into the heart.

It was obvious that a huge boost in the radiology practice was going on after war. An increasing number of studies and papers were discussed during the RSNA meetings and scientific sessions, which added more value to the rapidly improving radiology practice, not only as mean of diagnosis, but also as a treatment technique for certain types of diseases.

To be continued…

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