“Seeing Spine Radiology More Clearly at ASSR 2020”


This CME activity is primarily intended and designed to educate radiologists, neuroradiologists, musculoskeletal radiologists, interventional radiologists, spine surgeons, pain management and rehabilitation physicians, anesthesiologists, as well as fellows and residents in these specialties. Course material is also suitable for allied health professionals, including radiology technologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and radiology assistants who specialize, or have particular interest, in conditions affecting imaging and treatment of the spine.


National and international multidisciplinary experts in spine imaging and intervention will convene for a comprehensive view of diagnostic and interventional spine. This annual symposium utilizes didactic lectures, case-based reviews with RSNA”s Diagnosis Live” audience response technology, faculty panels and audience discussions to provide a rich environment of learning for all participants. Scientific paper sessions in both diagnostic and interventional spine will include new research, techniques and applications and clinical reviews. Electronic media will include both posters and educational exhibits. Interesting case reports, “Excerpta Extraordinaire” and a case of the day, competition keep the audience engaged. Awards will be given to the best scientific papers and exhibits.

New this year on February 12, 2020
(concurrent with the Hands-on Workshop)
CAQ/MOC/OLA ALL DAY SAM SESSIONS these four sessions will be in a case rich “Diagnosis Live” style format topically related to the clinical presentation of the patient. Patient presents with back pain, patient presents with neurologic deficit, patient presents with congenital abnormality and patient presents with incidental finding. The sessions will allow the audience to see a wide variety of cases with these clinical back drops and will be helpful for preparation for certification examinations and general review.

Thursday morning Joint SAM Sessions begin with “Controversies in Spine 2020” in this session Machine Learning and AI, spontaneous intracranial hypotension, spine oncology, imaging, minimally invasive and open surgery, scoliosis and personalized medicine and regenerative medicine will be our focus.

Economics and Health Policy is Joint SAM Session II focuses on Health Policy and Advocacy, Artificial Intelligence Reimbursement, MACRA and Payment Policy Updates, Interventional Spine Care, Health Care Disparities and Comparative Effectiveness Research and will conclude with a Faculty Panel discussing spine research and advocacy.

Joint SAM Session III

Past Presidents Best Sam Case Presentations are the subject of the Friday morning Joint SAM Session where five past presidents of ASSR will try to stump the audience with their favorite teaching cases.

Joint SAM Session IV

The ever popular Multidisciplinary Spine Conference will include surgeons, minimally invasive spine interventionalists and diagnostic spine experts for a discussion of difficult and interesting cases with audience participation. This conference highlights best practice and highlights outcomes and economic benefits of comprehensive multidisciplinary spine care.

New this year on February 15, 2020

Jointly Sponsored SAM session from the American Society of Emergency Radiology and the American Society of Spine Radiology   Imaging Spine Trauma in the Emergency Department. Experts in spine imaging from each Society come together for a comprehensive discussion of traumatic spine imaging. Session concludes with a case-based presentation with audience response participation.

Keynotes: A Keynote lecture on the role of MRI in Spondyloarthritis and another on Spine Imaging: Past, Present, Future are highlights of the Saturday programming.

Diagnostic Spine Break-out Sessions focus on:

  • Degenerative Disease: From Diagnosis to Post Treatment, Pediatric Imaging
  • Infections Tumors, Mimics

Interventional Spine Break-out Sessions focus on interventions of increasing complexity.

  • Fundamental Interventions: Where We All Begin
  • Intermediate Interventions: Accessible to All
  • Advanced Spine Interventions

Sunday Joint SAM Session V: New Horizons for Diagnostic and Interventional Spine focuses on ACR guidelines and decision support, work flow and streamlining protocols, advanced spine imaging and concludes with the Journal club for diagnostic and interventional best papers of 2019. 

The final joint SAM VI: Teaching, Training, and Testing the Spine Radiologist”. This session focuses on digital teaching strategies interventional spine training and developing a spine interventional practice and is interspersed with scientific paper presentations. 

Educational Objectives:

At the end of this Symposium, participants should:

  • understand concepts of machine learning and AI as they impact spine imaging

  • review diagnosis, patient selection and treatment for spontaneous intracranial hypotension

  • be familiar with the SINS classification and options for treatment of oncologic disease

  • be familiar with nomenclature of spinal degenerative disease and interpretation of pre and post op imaging

  • review updates on Economics and Health Policy as they relate to spine imaging and intervention

  • review patient centric issues in spine imaging and intervention including health disparities and enhancing patient value

  • be familiar with spine interventions from the basic to the advanced as well as the imaging required prior to intervention

  • review emergency imaging of spine trauma with an anatomic approach including the AO classification system and what the surgeon needs to know

  • Understand the pathophysiology and imaging features of spine infection, tumors and mimics

  • Review the ACR decision support and ACR guidelines for blunt spine trauma 

  • be familiar with the future of spine imaging with advanced spinal cord and high-field MRI as well as spectral imaging

  • understand methods of digital teaching and training for spine radiologists both diagnostic and interventional in preparation for practice