Richard McWilliams, Liverpool, UK, stresses the importance of 3D imaging training
Most vascular patients have had noninvasive 3D imaging before they attend for complex open or endovascular interventions.
It is now common in modern hospitals that these datasets can be studied on a web-based PACS viewer.
It is probably true that review of studies via the PACS system will suffice for many cases. However, more complex cases with more complex anatomy demand review at a 3D workstation where multiplanar and 3D reformatted images can be manipulated.
This allows the operator to fully understand the anatomy relevant to the intervention, to plan the relevant tube angles and stent sizes for endovascular procedures, and to send useful images back to the PACS system so that these may be retrieved and studied during the procedure.
I have been involved in teaching the use of 3D workstations to many vascular professionals who do not come from a radiology background. The almost unanimous view of these new recruits is that they did not realise that they could interact so usefully with the workstation with so little training.
I do not wish to understate the role of dedicated vascular radiologists, who will, hopefully, bring additional value to the process. Nonetheless, it is important that no unnecessary mystery surrounds the use of a 3D workstation, and one of the main purposes of the symposium is to allow delegates the chance to discover this.
In addition to the exposure to different workstations, there is also the opportunity to listen to state of the art lectures from experts in vascular imaging.
Our dual aims of the symposium are therefore to demystify the use of workstations and to whet the appetites of the delegates with these lectures such that they become fully enthused by modern vascular imaging.