Report Of the 10th meeting of the International Society for the History of Radiology (ISHRAD) with the French Society of Radiology (SFR) in Paris 7 and 8 Oct 2021 Palais des Congres

Report by Dr. Arpan K Banerjee, Chair ISHRAD.

The 10th scientific meeting of ISHRAD was held in Paris on October 7 and 8, 2021, co-organised for the first time with the French Society of Radiology (SFR).

On the 7th of October following the ISHRAD board meeting, members of ISHRAD where given a tour of the new French Museum of Radiology housed in the French Society of Radiology building, conducted by Mr. Frédéric Roz, Prof. Dr. Philippe Devred and Prof. Dr. Denis Krausé.

The museum collection consisted of several old X-ray tubes and sets of old machines as well as a large collection of models of radiological devices made by Massiot. The basement houses the old offices and library of Antoine Béclère, including his desk and medals. He is considered the father of French radiology.

On the following day Oct 8, the scientific meeting was held in the Palais des Congres in Salle Passy as one of the concurrent sessions of the French Radiology congress.

The opening talk of the meeting was “The first 10 years of the International Society for the history of radiology (ISHRAD)” by Dr. Arpan K. Banerjee the current Chair of ISHRAD. The audience was given an overview of how ISHRAD was founded, and a brief account of the past scientific meetings held over the last decade.

Dr. Arpan Banerjee – President of ISHRAD

The next talk was delivered remotely by Elizabeth Beckmann (current Chair British Society for the History of Radiology) who presented a lecture on “50 years of CT scanning” covering the remarkable contributions of Godfrey Hounsfield whose genius enabled him to build the first CT scanner capable of imaging the inside of the brain. The initial excitement of this discovery was conveyed and Hounsfield went on of course to image the body with his new scanner. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in medicine with Alan D. McCormack. Medicine has not been the same since this discovery.

The next talk was delivered by Anna Katharina Kätker from the Deutsches Röntgen Museum on behalf of Dr. Uwe Busch and was titled “Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen the discovery of x-rays and the creation of a new medical profession”. Röntgen was born in Remscheid and was a brilliant physicist who made his famous discovery in 1895 in Wurzburg and who received the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901 for his discovery of X-rays. His contributions and experiments were described in the talk and how this led to the development of a new profession of radiology worldwide.

Next the distinguished Prof. Dr. Robert Dondelinger from Liège, Belgium, reminded us that “The idea of tomography was announced together with the news of the discovery of Rontgen”. It is interesting that in Vienna a journalist who read Rontgen’s paper commented in the last paragraph of his article about the possibility of tomography using these X-rays.

Prof. Dr. R. Dondelinger

Prof. Dr. Adrian Thomas (a Past President of ISHRAD) delivered the next lecture remotely on “Numismatics in radiology”. The talk was based on his personal collection of medals pertaining to the field of radiology. It was interesting to hear the brief biographies of the portraits on the medals and the stories behind some of the medal winners. Particularly nice medals of Antoine Béclère were shown.

Next, we were privileged to hear a talk on “The hundred years of history of contrast agents” by Dr. Bruno Bonnemain who worked in research and development for Guerbet for over 40 years. He is the current President of the International Academy of the History of Pharmacy. We were given an overview of the developments in contrast media ranging from the early agents to the more modern low osmolar products and the newer current contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.

Prof. Dr. Alfredo Buzzi from Argentina (Former president of the Argentinian Society of Radiology and ISHRAD) delivered the next talk remotely on the subject of “Argentinian contributions to world radiology”. The contributions of Carlos Heuser, Humberto Correlli, Manuel Balado and Pablo Luis Mirizzi are covered in addition to the contributions of more recent radiologists such as Julio Palmaz and his work on the balloon expendable stent.

The final activity of the morning was the awarding of the Antoine Béclère medal to Dr. René Van Tiggelen, the director of the Belgium Museum of Radiology. Citations were given by Prof. Dr. Roland Rymer, president of the ‘Centre Antoine Béclère’ and Renaat Van den Broeck, vice chair of ISHRAD.

Prof. Dr. Roland Rymer

After lunch the afternoon session was opened by a talk by Prof. Dr. Douraied B. Salem, a distinguished neuroradiologist from Brest in France who talked on “The contribution of spectral CT in the expiration of the ferromagnetic nature of historical bullets from the 19th and 20th century”. Work has shown that the ferromagnetic character of the bullet can be used to differentiate projectiles.

Prof. Dr. Andrzej Urbanik from Poland (Past President Polish Medical Society of Radiology) talked about “X Rays in solving mysteries of the past” with a particular reference to the case of General Sikorsky who died in a plane crash in 1943 and who’s dead could possibly have been a murder.

Dr. Tania Delabarde a forensic anthropologist from the University of Paris gave an interesting talk on “Analysing skeletal body bone lesions for identification and circumstances of death”. She emphasised on the use of state-of-the-art imaging such as micro-CT in identification processes.

Dr. Tania Delabarde

Prof. Urbanik stepped in again to give another talk on “Radiology of mummies in Poland”. He spoke instead of Prof. Dr. Wilfried Rosendahl, who was unable to join the symposium at the last minute. Forensic radiology brought the different methods of extraction of the brain during the mummification process into the light.

Prof. Dr. Koen Verstraete from the University Hospital of Ghent talked about “Otzi the iceman” and the role radiology played in analysis of this dehydrated body found in a glacier in the Italian Austrian Alpine borders.

Dr. Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist from the Jacques Chirac Museum in Paris, talked about X-ray and CT-scan analysis of objects in the museum collection giving us a better understanding of fetishes in Sub Saharan art.

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Ravaud, an expert on X-ray analysis of paintings, concluded the day by presenting the different uses of radiography in the famous Louvre Museum, to analyse old paintings and works of art and how this has progressed over the years.

Prof. Dr. Denis Krausé and Prof. Dr. Philippe Devred chaired both the morning and afternoon sessions. The meeting was concluded with a vote of thanks to the French organisers delivered by Dr Arpan K Banerjee on behalf of ISHRAD.


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