Most Popular Topics in Radiology 2023

Taking a look at current trends in radiology research topics

Research is critical to the future growth of radiology. The specialty has a rich history in innovation and today’s investigators ensure a bright future for radiology by uncovering new discoveries and advancing radiologic research. Innovations in radiology have led to better patient outcomes through improved screening, diagnosis and treatment. The first step to develop a research project is identifying an interesting topic. These are just a few topics that are currently garnering interest in the field. 


Medical Imaging AI 

AI solutions to work seem to permeate every sector today, including radiology. These applications promise to transform the way radiologists work in the future by triaging images to help manage ever growing workloads. AI tools have the potential to enhance practice efficiency and improve diagnostic accuracy. Research into applications of AI in medical imaging continues to focus on solving specific diagnosis across all subspecialties. Radiologists are also starting to understand how AI might be incorporated into radiology workflows. RSNA leads the way in medical imaging AI research by publishing and funding research, helping radiologists learn practical applications of the technology and developing AI challenges to help create tools and harness the vast amounts of data needed. Learn about RSNA’s available resources and training in medical imaging AI. 


Health Care Equity 

Disparities in access to health care and screening are important to address and researchers are looking into barriers to screening for various populations and discrepancies in health outcomes across demographics. An important step toward improving care is expanding the diversity of the health care team. Populations historically underserved have been shown to have less trust in the health care system. A provider team that looks more like its patient population helps build trust. More than 50 presentations at RSNA 2022 focused on diversity, equity and inclusion topics, demonstrating the demand for continued research in the area. Find valuable resources and current health equity research here. 


Photon Counting Detector CT 

One popular topic in clinical radiology research, photon counting detector CT (PCD-CT), is gaining attention for its ability to reduce radiation dose while maintaining or even improving image quality. PCD-CT systems demonstrate several advantages over standard CT, including reduced electronic noise, improved spatial resolution, and lower radiation dose. The technique converts X-rays to electrical signal, facilitating small detector pixel designs, thus increased spatial resolution, without losing dose efficiency. These advances in diagnostic techniques that reduce the required radiation dose show promise for improved patient care. 



Interest in the effects of COVID-19, both short- and long-term, continues to be strong. Research into health complications resulting from infection and disparities in access to care is a popular topic. As a growing population is diagnosed with long COVID, interest in the effects of this condition has increased. This was also a hot topic at the RSNA annual meeting with late-breaking research on the topic presented throughout the science sessions and in the Learning Center Theater. Read original research and access tools and guidelines for managing COVID-19 on the RSNA COVID-19 Resources page. 


RSNA Advances Radiology Research 

Once you have identified an interesting topic to research, RSNA’s Research Development Guide will help you expand on your idea and develop it into a project. The RSNA R&E Foundation funds promising research projects across all radiology subspecialties. In 2022, the Foundation introduced Emerging Issues grants, which are designed to rapidly and effectively address urgent issues that threaten the health and well-being of disparate populations. 


The RSNA annual meeting is a great place to showcase your research results. Become a member to enjoy the benefits of presenting at the largest medical imaging conference and to gain access to R&E Foundation grants