Monday's Press Conferences

Watch for stories in the national media generated by RSNA press conferences:

High School Football Players Show Brain Changes after One Season

Researchers monitored 24 high school football players between ages 16 and 18 with Head Impact Telemetry System (HITs) helmet-mounted accelerometers. Risk-weighted cumulative exposure was computed from the HITs data, representing the risk of concussion over the course of the season. This data, along with total impacts, were used to categorize the players into heavy hitters or light hitters. All players underwent pre- and post-season evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. The heavy-hitter group showed statistically significant areas of decreased fractional anisotropy post-season in specific areas of the brain, including the splenium of the corpus callosum and deep white matter tracts.

Imaging Shows Brain Connection Breakdown in Early Alzheimer's Disease

A study of the brain's structural connectome found that changes in brain connections visible on MRI could represent an imaging biomarker of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers analyzed diffusion tensor imaging results from 102 patients enrolled in a national study called the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) 2 and correlated changes in the structural connectome with results from florbetapir PET imaging. The results showed a strong association between florbetapir uptake and decreases in strength of the structural connectome in each of the five areas of the brain studied.

PET/CT Shows Pituitary Abnormalities in Veterans with PTSD

Hybrid imaging PET/CT in the pituitary region of the brain is a promising tool for differentiating military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) from those with MTBI only. Researchers used 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT to study the hypothalamus and pituitary glands of veterans who had suffered blast-related MTBI. A review of 159 brain 18F-FDG PET/CT exam records showed that FDG uptake in the hypothalamus was significantly higher in the MTBI and PTSD group compared with the MTBI-only group. The finding of higher FDG uptake in the pituitary glands of PTSD sufferers supports the theory that many veterans diagnosed with PTSD may actually have hypopituitarism, a condition in which the pituitary gland does not produce normal amounts of one or more of its hormones.

Frank J. Rybicki, M.D. (right), led at a team of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital that assessed the clinical impact of using 3D printed models of the recipient's head in the planning of face transplantation surgery. Carmen Tarleton, one of the team's patients, joined Dr. Rybicki and others for a press conference at RSNA 2014 on Monday.

Researchers Use 3D Printing to Guide Human Face Transplants

CT and 3D printing technology are being combined to recreate life-size models of patients' heads to assist in face transplantation surgery. Transplant recipients underwent preoperative CT with 3D visualization. To build each life-size skull model, the CT images of the transplant recipient's head were segmented and processed using customized software, creating specialized data files that were input into a 3D printer. The 3D printed models provide superior pre-operative data and allow complex anatomy and bony defects to be better appreciated, reducing total procedure time and improving patient outcomes.

Today's Press Conferences

RSNA invites members of the medical news media to attend its annual meeting each year so that, through stories in print, broadcast and Internet media, the public gains a greater understanding of radiology and its role in their healthcare.

Four press conferences will be held today:

RSNA 2014 press releases are available online at

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