SIR's 40th Annual Scientific Meeting: All in with the Latest Advancements in Interventional Radiology

by Jafar Golzarian, MD, FSIR

SIR 2015 program chair

The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) saw the highest physician and trainee Annual Scientific Meeting attendance in two years as more than 4,600 IRs, trainees, clinical associates and corporate supporters gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for SIR 2015, its 40th Annual Scientific Meeting, which offers the world’s most comprehensive meeting dedicated to research and education in image-guided, minimally invasive medicine.

At SIR 2015, opportunities were available to see and try the latest equipment, hear about groundbreaking research and advanced technologies that herald bold strides in patient care. The meeting featured more than 200 sessions and 125 technical exhibits and product demonstrations. Attendees were equipped with current data on breakthrough treatments for numerous diseases and conditions including cancer, uterine fibroids, and venous and peripheral arterial disease. The cutting-edge scientific research, sessions and community of innovative problem solvers inspired and energized attendees. This all works toward ensuring that health care providers make the best decisions for patients.

Fostering education and new research is the backbone of the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting, and this year’s program provided the foundation for the next generation of patient care. We tackled the most challenging topics and honored those who serve as examples of excellence in the field.

Offers diversified program

SIR 2015’s general sessions featured the specialty’s top thought-leaders on major, often controversial, issues. “Innovation, Macroeconomics and the Future of Minimally Invasive Therapies” provided a discussion of the impact of changes in the health care ecosystem, while “Global Perspectives” explored specialty dynamics around the world.

Revamped workshops for 2015 included new “In-the-clinic,” “In-the-lab” and hands-on “Learning Labs,” while deep exploration of new developments and research in interventional radiology were presented as “In-the-classroom sessions.” Under the leadership of SIR 2015 workshop chair J. Fritz Angle, M.D., FSIR, these successful new sessions emphasized hands-on, interactive learning with plenty of dialogue between attendees, faculty and presenters.

Far more than simply core interventional radiology, diverse topics covered a wide range of what is important to interventional radiologists and their patients.

Venous programming included In-the-clinic workshops such as:

  • Clinical correlation of ultrasound and treatment planning
  • PE consult - Assessment and management decisions
  • RCC Clinic - Ablation, embolization and other therapies

In-the-lab venous workshops included:

  • Portal II - How to do a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)
  • Portal IV - Portal occlusive disease
  • Portal VI - Transplant portal and venous interventions
  • Portal VI - Transplant portal and venous interventions
  • Adrenal venous sampling and chronic venous occlusions - Techniques through case examples

Venous thought leaders were on hand during the Meet the Experts sessions.

In-the-classroom sessions included topics such as:

  • Venous occlusive disease
  • IVC filters
  • PE interventions
  • Venous insufficiency

See more venous programming—and SIR 2015 programming across all clinical areas—at Search for an abstract on the SIR 2015 Annual Meeting website.

SIR’s goal is for all attendees to return home with the essential new tools, techniques and skills that will help grow and strengthen their clinical practice. SIR’s reviewers, under the direction of SIR 2015 scientific program chair Robert J. Lewandowski, M.D., FSIR, selected “Multicenter trial of the Venatech convertible filter: a novel approach to inferior vena cava filtration” as the best overall clinical abstract. “Endovascular embolization of aneurysms by interventional MR coagulation” was determined to be the best overall basic science abstract. Both were presented during the March 4 general session.

Honors excellence in the field

The Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecture, named to honor of one of the founders of interventional radiology, is annually presented to an interventional radiologist making a substantial mark for the overall betterment of the industry. This year, Robert Kerlan, M.D., FSIR, chief of interventional radiology and professor of clinical radiology and surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, delivered his lecture, “Interventional radiology: Adapting to the changing world of health care,” which explored how interventional radiology will benefit from collaboration with the entire medical community in light of the changes taking place in the United States in the economics and practice of health care.

Gold Medals for excellent contributions to interventional radiology were presented to SIR Past President Anne C. Roberts, M.D., FSIR, chief of vascular and interventional radiology at the University of California at San Diego hospital and the San Diego VA hospital; Johannes Lammer, MD, FSIR, EBIR, FCIRSE, professor emeritus of the Medical University Vienna, Austria; and Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FSIR, FACR, (awarded posthumously), former CEO of the American College of Radiology.

Honors research supporters

This year’s Leaders in Innovation award was presented to Lindsay Machan, M.D., FSIR, University of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver, and Kieran J. Murphy, M.D., FSIR, University of Toronto, Canada. John F. Cardella, M.D., FSIR, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa., and Katharine L. Krol, M.D., FSIR, received the foundation’s Frederick S. Keller, M.D., Philanthropist of the Year Award in gratitude for their commitment to the society.

Welcomes 2015–16 SIR President and Executive Council

Alan H. Matsumoto, M.D., FSIR, FSIR, FACR, FAHA, took office as president during SIR 2015. “We are set to continue our trajectory of innovation and service while formulating an agenda for the coming year that aims to meet the needs of the IR physicians, scientists, technologists, and other essential health care professionals working diligently to provide the highest standard of care,” said Matsumoto, an interventional radiologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The Society’s new president-elect is Charles E. Ray Jr., M.D., Ph.D., FSIR, University of Illinois Health Sciences Center in Chicago.

Reaches a global community

SIR 2015 connected a global community in minimally invasive, image-guided medicine, by featuring essential updates on patient-care strategies to help optimize the clinical decisions that interventional radiologists make. VIRtual SIR 2015 hosted 270 people from 29 countries who experienced simultaneous streaming of educational programming.

Benefits research

SIR Foundation’s fifth annual Gala was as successful as it was an incredibly memorable experience at the Georgia Aquarium. The evening, which raised more than $370,000 to support building IR’s future through research, was a celebration of advances in the specialty, an opportunity to connect with colleagues and a look at some of the world’s most enchanting sea creatures.

Learn more

SIR’s popular annual meeting mobile app was accessed 7,057 times to help attendees make the most of the meeting. Missed the meeting? You can still download the app for news, abstracts, and to contact exhibitors, or purchase feature-rich videos of SIR 2015 sessions through our Digital Video Library. SIR 2016 will be held April 2–7, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. For more information about SIR and the society’s Annual Scientific Meeting, please visit