Three Radiology Researchers Earn RSNA Travel Awards

Posted on November 2016

Congratulations to Abdominal Imaging Fellow Dr. Elizabeth Maddox, Radiology Resident Dr. B. Dustin Pooler, and second year medical student Kyle Malecki on winning 2016 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Student Travel Awards for young investigators!

Dr. Maddox’s electronic scientific presentation titled “Ultrasound (US) of Indeterminate Adnexal Cysts: Incidence of Ovarian Cancer” will be presented at the RSNA 2016 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on Monday, November 28 at 12:15 p.m. This work is part of an ongoing project with her co-fellow, Ashley Cahoon, MD, and her mentors, Drs. Elizabeth Sadowski and Jessica Robbins. The goals of their research are to evaluate the outcomes of sonographically indeterminate adnexal lesions and determine what role MRI plays in guiding clinicians in the care of these women. The ultimate hope is to catch ovarian cancers at an earlier and more treatable stage.

Two others from UW-Madison, B. Dustin Pooler, MD, a fourth-year radiology resident, and Kyle Malecki, an MD candidate, also received the RSNA Student Travel Award. Dr. Pooler will be presenting a paper titled “Prospective Evaluation of Reduced Dose Computed Tomography for the Detection of Low-contrast Liver Lesions” on Tuesday, November 29 at 11:10 a.m. Kyle Malecki will be giving a presentation titled “Accuracy of Liver Surface Nodularity Quantification at MDCT as a Noninvasive Biomarker for Staging Liver Fibrosis” on Sunday, November 27 at 11:05 a.m.

Dr. Pooler’s research revolves around attempting to use lower-dose CT techniques while still maintaining accurate diagnoses in situations where the imaging target has naturally low contrast with the background. “The conclusion to be drawn is that while reduced dose CT techniques and reconstruction algorithms are very promising for some imaging scenarios, we as radiologists must be careful in our application of ‘low dose’ imaging, as ambitious dose reduction may not be appropriate in all situations,” Dr. Pooler explained.

Kyle Malecki has worked with Drs. Megan Lubner and Perry Pickhardt on his research. The goal of this research, Kyle explained, was “to determine the predictive value of a new tool, called Liver Surface Nodularity, to measure the degree of hepatic fibrosis on cross-sectional CT images.” Currently, the gold standard for assessing liver fibrosis is the liver biopsy which is an invasive procedure that presents certain risks to the patient. The study demonstrated strong results in carrying out that task, comparable to other non-invasive methods. According to Kyle, the research has several implications including that this tool “could be used retrospectively in patients with liver disease to non-invasively stage fibrosis, and could be used to monitor therapies over time without the need for repeat liver biopsies”, reducing risk to the patient.

The Travel Awards are new for RSNA in 2016. In February of this year the RSNA Board of Directors announced the creation of the Travel Award Program with the hope of easing the expenses young investigators face while traveling to RSNA. Of all the young investigators who have been invited to share their work at the meeting, the top 400 have been offered the award.