The Department of Radiology & Radiological Sciences


The Chest Imaging Section currently is staffed by six ABR certified radiologists. The section participates actively in the care of all intensive care unit patients. Additionally, the section consults with all physicians in both the inpatient and outpatient settings that require thoracic imaging in the diagnosis and planning of acute and long-term care. These consultations not only include images of active inpatients, but also those patients seen in The Vanderbilt Clinic and chest examinations completed on patients in ancillary facilities. The Section also provides a National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety qualified B reader for the radiographic evaluation of dust exposure.

Vanderbilt University is one of the participating sites in the National Lung Screening Trial, a randomized controlled trial comparing low-dose helical CT against CXR screening with the primary end point of lung cancer specific mortality. This study is in its 8th year and over 50,000 subjects have been recruited nationally. Initial findings are expected in 2012.
Other funded research activities include participation in the Epithelial Dysfunction in Early IPF Study of Dr. Timothy Blackwell in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. This study began recruiting in 2008 and is anticipated to involve HRCT scanning of 600 asymptomatic subjects at genetic risk for pulmonary fibrosis; it is scheduled through 2013. Members of the section also have funding for research in such varied areas asphase-contrast computed tomography; monochromatic phase-contrast breast cancer radiography; autosegmentation for head and neck radiotherapy planning; interaction of angiopoietin & VEGF signals in arthritis; and multidisciplinary training in cancer imaging.
Members of the section also are active at the national level in committees and offices including the Society of Thoracic Radiology, the Radiologic Society of North America, the Roentgen Ray Society, as editor of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine, and the American Board of Radiology where three have served as board examiners.
Teaching sessions encompass all levels from medical school, externships, pulmonary fellows, and radiology resident training. Members of the Thoracic Radiology Section have been named Teacher of the Year by the Vanderbilt Radiology Residents a total of seven times.

Virtual bronchoscopy and accompanying transverse, coronal and sagittal reconstructions of a 38-year-old woman show multiple tracheal diverticula and collapse of the left lung with bronchiectasis.