Interview with Prof. Pia Sundgren, president of the 40th Annual Meeting of the ESNR

14/08/2017 : Interview with Prof. Pia Sundgren, president of the 40th Annual Meeting of the ESNR


A member of ESNR Social Media Committee, Yelda Özsunar, interviewed Prof. Pia Sundgren, who is the President of the 40th Annual Meeting of ESNR. The 40th Neuroradiology Meeting, which also covers the 24th Advanced Course on Diagnostic Neuroradiology and the 9th Advanced Course in Endovascular and Interventional Neuroradiology, will be held between the 13th and 17th of September 2017 in Malmö, Sweden.

To inform the neuroradiologists, who wish to attend the meeting, she gave the following information regarding the congress.

Yelda Özsunar: Could you briefly explain why the city of Malmö is selected for this Congress?

Pia Sundgren: I think one reason for the selection of Malmö, which is the third largest city in Sweden, is the great connections to Europe as Malmö is just 20 min from Scandinavia’s largest airport, Copenhagen Airport. Malmö Airport and Copenhagen Airport together offer direct flights to 142 destinations throughout the world. In addition, Malmö is a vibrant, multicultural city with a great location at the sea with the beach just minutes from the city centre. Famous for its many parks, it is often called the ‘green city’, with interesting architecture like Turing Torso and the newly build areas at the previous docks in the harbour, galleries, pubs and high-star restaurants, and for its outdoor life. All this offers the Congress delegates a variety of things to visit and do in the evenings. I think many delegates will find the congress venue Malmö Live and congress hotel Clarion appealing as they are in the middle of the city, just a few walking minutes from Malmö railway station and one block from the old part of town.

Yelda Özsunar: Could you please tell us how Swedish scientists or neuroradiologists have contributed to the field of neuroscience or neuroradiology?

Pia Sundgren: Swedish radiologists and neuroradiologists have been pioneers in our field, and the list of contributions could be long. Swedish colleagues early took a key position in this development, not the least due to the close collaboration with the industry, resulting in, for the time, advanced equipment such as the Lysholm skull table and the stationary grid introduced by him, AOT film changer, Mimer, and Orbix, just to name some. The Swedish School of Neuroradiology, at the time in its leading institution at the Serafimer Hospital in Stockholm, was regarded as the Mecca of neuroradiology in the 1940s and for some decades to come. A specific reason for the success of Swedish Neuroradiology is the close collaboration between referring physicians, especially neurologists and neurosurgeons, which was established already in the 1920s. Many internationally famous neuroradiologists have been trained in Sweden during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Just a few examples of early Swedish pioneers were Erik Lysholm, Ingmar Wickbom, Erik Lindgren, Sven Seldinger, and Torgny Greitz. Torsten Almen, from Malmö, introduced nonionic contrast media 1969 allowing for wide use of myelography and angiography. Interventional neuroradiology has been pioneered in Sweden mainly by Pål Svendsen who led his team from Gothenburg. Just one example of the developments by Swedish colleagues related to neuroradiology was the introduction of electronic subtraction which is useful in angiography, and almost indispensable in interventional neuroradiology. It was developed in a collaboration between Wickbom, Wallman, and Quiding. The Swedish Society of Neuroradiology was established in 1971, and since 1992, neuroradiology is considered its own subspeciality in Sweden. Until the introduction of dedicated journals such as Neuroradiology and AJNR, the Journal Acta Radiologica, initially edited by Erik Lindgren, was initially the leading and only neuroradiological journal.

Yelda Özsunar: Do you think that 40th Annual Meeting of ESNR will be an interesting congress for neuroradiologists? If so, why do you think that would be?

Pia Sundgren: I am absolutely sure that the 40th Annual Meeting of ESNR will be an interesting and exciting meeting as it creates a great opportunity for friends from all over the world to meet up, discuss, and enjoy a great scientific program. This year, it will be a stronger focus on scientific and new advances in neuroradiology. We will have keynote lectures by Prof. Anne Osborn, Prof. Mauricio Castillo, Prof. Staffan Holmin, and Prof. Mark van Buchem and several other wellknown national and international speakers will be present.

Yelda Özsunar: Could you tell us about distinguishing features or topics of the scientific program in this Congress?

Pia Sundgren: We will, for the first time in the course of annual meetings, start 1 day earlier with a half-day precourse session on CSF disease: the neuroradiological impact in diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH)—is there a need for neuroradiology. The advanced diagnostic course focuses on neurodegenerative diseases and the advanced interventional course on the latest news and advances in stroke imaging. In general, the program will focus on new advances in neuroimaging and the latest treatment options and devices for endovascular treatment.

Yelda Özsunar: What do you think about the social events? Will this Congress be memorable?

Pia Sundgren: I really hope so as I have tried to select venues that are well-known in Malmö (Presidential dinner in City Hall, farewell party in the well-known club Slagthuset) and, most importantly, in walking distance from hotels so delegates can come and go without having to wait for transport. I have selected musical arrangements that, in part, reflect me and represent great artists from the region. At the welcome reception that will be held at the congress venue to please our sponsors and vendors, the delegates will have the opportunity to stroll around, chat with friends, grab some food and drinks, meet vendors, and listen to soft music. The farewell party is more in my style with a well-known big band orchestra Salongsorkestern that I already, as a student and resident, had opportunities to dance to their music and songs; later in the evening, this will be followed by a DJ playing ABBA among other great artists from 1970s to 1990s which I hope will be appreciated not only by us of 50+ but also our younger delegates so that the dance floor will be crowded.

Yelda Özsunar: What are your recommendations for attendees to enjoy Malmö?

Pia Sundgren: As the Congress venue is in the centre close to the harbour and the old city with all its restaurants and pubs—just take the opportunity to stroll around, enjoy the atmosphere, stop for beer or drink, or have your evening meal at one of the restaurants at the Little Square just across the small canal from the congress venue. If you like to enjoy the sea and/or enjoy a dip in the water—just visit the beach which is only15 min of walking from the congress venue. For those that want to shop—take the local commuter train or bus to Emporia, the largest shopping mall in North Europe. Malmö has a beautiful location with great communications to Lund, the oldest college/university city with a beautiful cathedral, small streets, and a lot of students, and to Copenhagen—so if time permits, take a tour. South of Sweden, the region of Scania, is well known for its fresh food so take the opportunity to eat seafood, and Malmö is a very diverse and multicultural city so there is a taste for everybody.

In behalf of my committee, I would like to thank you very much for this interview and all your efforts for the ESNR meeting. I wish a productive, joyful, and unforgettable ESNR meeting in Malmö.


Prof. Yelda Özsunar