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Esther Pompe received NRS Travel Grant

Travel grants December 2014

Esther Pompe

Phd student
Department of Pulmonary Diseases
UMCU, Utrecht

By receiving the NRS travel grant I got the opportunity to visit the largest medical conference in the world. 70.000 people interested in radiology from all over the world traveled to Chicago to share their interests and new ideas. The industrial looking city was a perfect platform for this event.

In a poster presentation we showed that contrast media injection significantly increases bone signal measured on computed tomography (CT). This shows the importance of standardized image acquisition protocols for CT as a possible screening method for osteoporosis. In light of pulmonary diseases this might seem of little importance, but nothing could be further from the truth because chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with osteoporosis. A vertebral fracture in COPD patients may interfere with these patients’ already compromised pulmonary function. Therefore, recognition of low bone density in this patient group is of great importance in order to prevent a fracture.

It was informative for me to discuss this subject with others interested. We speculated about which particular group of patients could be suitable for this way of opportunistic screening. We thought of the upcoming interest in lung cancer screening. This group could be suitable for osteoporosis screening, because they are older than fifty years and they smoke, which are both known risk factors for osteoporosis. Thereby, it could contribute to the yield and cost effectivity of lung cancer screening.

Next to gaining new insights for this specific topic, I attended a lot of sessions about quantitative imaging of lung diseases. A state of the art speech of David Lynch was very informative and gave me a good overview of current developments in quantifying COPD on CT.