ESNR / About ESNR / History of ESNR / History of ESNR (L. Picard)
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History of the European Society of Neuroradiology

(translated from the original text by Luc Picard in French)

In 1969, at the initiative of Auguste Wackenheim (Strasbourg, France) and Jean Paul Braun (Colmar, France), organizers of the 1st European Symposium of Neuroradiology, in close collaboration with Ziedses des Plantes (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), about fifty specialists, most of them radiologists but all passionate about Neuroradiology, met to found the European Society of Neuroradiology. At that time, neither the CT-scan or MRI were invented yet; technical possibilities for head and brain imaging were limited to polycyclic tomography, (non-selective) angiograms and pneumo-encephalography; myelograms, and saccoradiculographies for imaging of the spinal cord. Because of the risk posed by these techniques, many radiologists prefer to leave neurosurgeons or neurologists conducting reviews of the most dangerous. This explains the wide variety of original neuroradiologists in the world, which has generated and continues to generate significant problems of identity, but is also a real wealth. The various "subspecialties" of neuroradiology, including interventional neuroradiogie, of course were not individualized.

The objectives of this new European Society were mainly scientific and if at the outset, some already sketched the idea of ​​a specialty "full", the result as an individualization does not draw the short term.In the international context, the foundation of the ESNR occurred nine years after the founding of the first scientific society of Neuroradiology, created in Japan in 1960, who had shortly before the founding of the Italian Society of Neuroradiology (1961) and that of the American Society of Neuroradiology (American Society of Neuroradiology) in 1962.

Due to the international political context of the time, then the ESNR consisted mainly countries in Western Europe, which explains the location of the first Congress: France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany ... The first congress of the ESNR organized in an "Eastern Europe", held in Prague in Czechoslovakia in 1984, some years before the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989).

Since the creation of the ESNR, neuroradiology has faced some very important technical and organizational developments. Technically, from the year 1975, the arrival of the scanner and MRI, 10 years later, forced the practitioners interested in neuroradiology to regularly update their knowledge and, for a significant portion of them to "hyperspécialiser" within the Neuroradiology while it was not yet individualized. Meanwhile, the practice of neuroradiology has tended to concentrate in structures capable of acquiring the expensive equipment required; this made the development of neuroradiology often parallel to the socio economic level of the country concerned.

Organizationally, in the decade following the founding of the European Society of Neuroradiology, many scientific societies of neuroradiology have gradually been established in most European countries. Meanwhile, he also quickly became necessary to create supranational structures. Interventional neuroradiology becoming increasingly effective and gradually replacing the activity of vascular neurosurgery, World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (WFITN) was founded at the annual meeting of the Working Group in Interventional Neuroradiology (WIN) Val d'Isere (France) in 1991; this world federation is actually an international scientific society comprised of individuals and not a federation of companies.

By cons, the World Federation of Neuroradiological Societies (WFNRS) which includes all companies neuroradiology was established in Kumamoto (Japan) Symposium Neuroradiologicum 1994. The purpose of WFNRS is to unite the various societies of neuroradiology, including hyper companies to facilitate the formation of the youngest and provide an average level of competence and performance, acceptable in all countries.

The Symposium Neuroradiologicum, created to promote scientific exchanges international calling at the highest level, then naturally started in Europe: the first symposium was held in Antwerp in 1939, followed by Rotterdam (1949), Stochholm (1952), London (1955 ), Brussels (1957) and Roma (1961). It was only in 1964 that the first symposium "European Extra" was held in New York.

The European Society of Neuroradiology has initially been an activity mainly characterized by the scientific organization of annual conferences. It is only since 1984 has created the European Course of Neuroradiology, the first round took place in Toulouse, Ancona and Brussels. In 1991, an Advanced Course for senior citizens was attached to the annual conference. From 2008, this "Advanced Course" includes simultaneous two days: one devoted to the diagnosis and the other in the interventional. The cycle of European Course was redesigned with parallel, on a common neuroradiological, a simultaneous teaching of diagnostic and interventional.

For many years, the ESNR has worked as most of Scientific Societies, the thinking and making decisions within the Executive Committee. From 2002, a European Board of Neuroradiology was created to empower a structure for organizing structured teaching, assessment, certification and regular inspections. Having accomplished the most important part of its original mission and in particular how the creation of a European certificate of Neuroradiology, the European Board was dissolved in late 2008, to work within the UEMS.

Indeed, within the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), the creation of a Division of Neuroradiology independently in Radiological Discipline was signed September 13, 2008, nearly 40 years after the founding of the ESNR! This long delay illustrates the difficulties of the path but this apparent "victory" should under no circumstances be misled. Since 1969, many new problems have emerged: neuroradiology is facing an increasing complexity that generated the spontaneous outbreak of multiple subspecialties: Interventional Neuroradiology - Functional Imaging - Pediatric Neuroradiology - Spine imaging ... parallel evolution requires to neuroradiologists maximum control everything that is within the scope of Neuroscience.

The next challenge for the present and future generations of Europeans will be to evolve the old organizational concepts, based on classic specialties totally unsuited to the demands of training and development of clinical neuroradiologists with an open mind and knowledge will have an ever-widening. The integration of Neuroradiology in the very general framework for Neuroscience is an absolute necessity not only for the daily practice of the specialty but also for the development of research that the emergence of nanotechnology will certainly boost. The European Society of Neuroradiology who managed to adapt to multiple successive challenges which it faced, must now not only be interested in scientific problems but also help the international dialogue necessary to address the educational problems, and strategic assessment at the heart of our business practices. It has found its place among the national societies and WFNRS and its global role was strengthened in itself.

Luc Picard

Emeritus Professor of Neuroradiology

October 28, 2008