Interventional radiology (IR) started to develop around the mid-1960s, when Charles Dotter, a pioneering U.S. vascular radiologist, performed the first angioplasty on a patient with gangrene and an ulcer on her foot. Since then, IR has expanded into almost all fields of medicine, “from head to toe”, concerning women, men, and children’s health at once. Today, IR is indisputably a medical sub-specialty, maintaining a strong growth potential, providing minimally invasive image-guided diagnosis and treatment by a wide range of techniques, constantly evolving.
IR is an essential part of radiology and constitutes a fantastic showcase of our specialty. Despite that, we still don’t have IR title recognition in Belgium, and consequently we don’t have a specific IR nomenclature, specific IR suites and equipment’s recognition, and a coherent identified nationwide IR offer. Moreover, with this situation, Belgian IR suffers from a fierce competition with other medical specialties in a very competitive and underfunded healthcare environment.
The IR section of the BSR is a very active and growing section of the BSR. One of our major goals is to improve IR networking, improve IR visibility and recognition regarding public and politics, and increase professional defense. For this reason, we endorsed and actively support the European Board of IR (EBIR) of the CIRSE (European Society of Cardiovascular and IR), and we encourage all our members, and especially the youngest, to obtain the EBIR certification.
In addition, we try to develop close relationships with the other European IR societies (especially with the French and the Dutch societies), which is why we are very proud to welcome very prestigious speakers at our BSR annual meeting.
As do all radiologists, interventional radiologists must be prepared to demonstrate their value to patients, providers, and the public. Our guests are all key opinion leaders in IR and will show us the best we can expect from IR!
Our first speaker, Professor Hicham Kobeiter, is the past president of the SFICV (Société Française d’Imagerie Cardiovasculaire et interventionnelle) and a worldwide-known expert in imaging guidance in IR. He is the Head of the department of radiology in the University Hospital Henri Mondor, in Créteil (France). His IR room is equipped with the latest technical developments of C-arm CBCT.
Our second speaker, Professor Otto van Delden, is probably one of the most well-suited people in the world to talk about the role and the abilities of the Interventional Radiologist in 2018, as he is the Chairman of the European Board of IR (EBIR – CIRSE) and the chairman of the “Training & Education Committee” of the Dutch society of Radiology.
Interventional radiology offers minimally invasive therapies that have clear advantages over surgical procedures. Radiological interventions are safer, better tolerated, and cheaper. One would assume that radiological interventions would be rapidly adopted once they have been shown to be equally effective as the surgical alternative. Not infrequently though, implementation of a radiological intervention into clinical practice is hampered, despite availability of scientific evidence demonstrating non-inferiority or even superiority over current standard of care.
Our final speaker, Professor Mark Burgman, is a very famous IR and the president of the Dutch Society of Radiology. He will discuss promising radiological interventions that could or should have been a treatment of first choice, but have thus far failed to have a significant impact on clinical management in the Benelux. The technique, indications and available scientific literature will be discussed of ‘misknown’ radiological interventions, such as percutaneous hepatic perfusion, renal tumor ablation, uterine artery embolization, thyroid ablation, and percutaneous placement of peritoneal dialysis catheters.
The authors have no competing interests to declare.