Editorial for anniversary issue of European Radiology
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This special anniversary issue of European Radiology illustrates the wide range of topics which this journal now covers and charts some of the key recent advances in radiology over the last two decades. It includes several review articles in which each author considers some recent groundbreaking papers published in this journal and relates them to developments within their area of interest.
A special anniversary issue is also very appropriate in 2011 when we marked the anniversary of Professor Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen’s death on the 10th February with a “European Day of Radiology”. Although Röntgen’s discovery was one of the great turning points of medicine - few other medical innovations have ever been so quickly adopted - there has been almost exponential growth in imaging thereafter. Crucial investigations using various contrast agents and fluoroscopy paved the way for Hounsfield and Cormack’s breakthrough with computed tomography in the early 1970s. Since then it has been a rapidly advancing success story with advances in ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology, hybrid imaging and now molecular imaging, all combining to make radiology the most exciting and, in many ways, the most important branch of medicine. Imaging is now used to screen, diagnose, treat, evaluate response to treatment and follow up nearly all serious medical conditions. No wonder some clinicians say enviously: “You radiologists have all the fun!” Furthermore, the medical community has at last realised the crucial contribution made by prompt access to high quality imaging, interpretation and image guided therapy. Indeed no medical centre can succeed without high class imaging and pathology. The rising impact factor of European Radiology over the years provides further testament to the success of our discipline.
Of course along with success come problems, with intense competition for authors to get their papers published in the limited space available. It is disappointing for European authors to see their work rejected by their premier journal but, given the very large number of submissions, nearly all of very high quality, that is inevitable. Various features have been developed to overcome this problem. Firstly came the reduction in the number of case reports published (now zero); these are now all diverted to the highly successful EuroRad teaching file (http://www.eurorad.org edited by Prof. Hans Bloem) which now offers a marvellous platform for case reports and an opportunity for younger radiologists to gain experience in preparing citeable publications. Next came the development of Insights into Imaging (http://www.i3-journal.org edited by Prof. Robert Hermans) which was primarily developed to provide a home for educational material, such as state of the art reviews, audit reports, best-practice and ‘how to do it’ articles, guidelines, recommendations & statements from leading radiological subspecialty societies in Europe and, importantly, for statements from the European Society of Radiology itself. These developments should all result in more space in European Radiology being available for articles of leading scientific importance.
European Radiology has to reflect the wide spectrum of subspecialties within radiology and these continue to increase. No one would really have predicted two decades ago that more articles are now submitted related to cardiac imaging than any other subspecialty. The growth of experimental and molecular imaging provides further pressure on space. This makes it increasingly difficult for papers in the less glamorous subspecialties to get accepted; judicious editorial review is maintained to keep a fair distribution of published articles within the journal. The Editorial Board, particularly the Section Editors and reviewers, work hard to achieve this difficult balance.
This issue includes numerous editorials from senior imaging scientists who, with various others on the Editorial Board, countless reviewers and you, the readers, have helped to make European Radiology the leading journal that it is. Each author considers some recent groundbreaking papers published in this journal and relates them to developments within their area of interest. Some are factual accounts; some are more personal reflections; each gives an intriguing and up to date insight into the various imaging subspecialties. It should make fairly exciting reading. Inevitably there is some overlap as every subspecialty hopes to see very fast, high resolution imaging with almost negligible ionising radiation risk - the Holy Grail! Nowhere is this sought more keenly than in cardiac imaging which is still one of the “hot topics” in imaging. Like all successful areas within medicine, there is usually keen jockeying for leadership in these emerging areas which include hybrid and molecular imaging. It is essential that European Radiology provides a ready platform for high quality research studies on such topics, thereby underlining the commitment amongst radiologists within Europe (and the European Society of Radiology) to provide the appropriate leadership and infrastructure. Only by collaboration with physicists, basic scientists, radiographers and our clinical colleagues will our discipline continue to enjoy its remarkable growth. Once again we thank Professors Lissner and Baert for their vision to create and develop this remarkable journal. I, along with others on the team, am honoured and privileged to be its custodian over its next phase.
Adrian K Dixon