The European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology (ESGAR) is a not-for-profit, educational and scientific organisation founded by radiologists working in close association with gastroenterologists, hepatologists, abdominal surgeons, pathologists, and other allied specialists. Its members have a special interest in the imaging and treatment of patients with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and associated abdominal organs.
The aims of the Society are:
ESGAR is registered as a not-for-profit organisation in Vienna, Austria. The Executive Committee of the Society is structured to consist of members from countries throughout Europe.
The income of the Society is derived from membership fees, surplus from annual meetings and workshops, donations, corporate membership and sponsorship from industry.
The Annual Meeting, the most important event of the Society's calendar, is held in a different European country each year. The Postgraduate Course covers a specific topic each year but all annual meetings are devoted to the main theme of "Abdominal Imaging and Intervention".
The meetings consist of invited educational lectures, workshops, scientific presentations and satellite symposia structured in conjunction with our industrial partners. They are organised by the Central ESGAR Office together with a local committee chaired by the meeting president. The scientific programme of the meetings is developed by the Programme Committee, a sub-committee of the Executive Committee.
In realising the objective of creating links between continents and other Societies the 1st Joint Meeting with the Society of Abdominal Radiologists (SAR) took place to general acclaim in Orlando in 2002 and was followed by the 2nd Joint Meeting in Greece in 2006. After the political changes in Eastern Europe, the Society has been actively promoting exchanges across the old divide since its foundation. The first meeting in Eastern Europe took place in Budapest/HU in 2003. In 2018, the meeting will be organised in Dublin/IE.
Since its foundation the Society has been closely associated with the European Association of Radiology (EAR) and the European Congress of Radiology (ECR). The members of the Society have played a central role in the evolution of European radiology, the establishment of their sub-speciality and the development of a specific educational curriculum. In March 2007 both EAR and ECR agreed to integrate all their functions into the newly founded European Society of Radiology (ESR). The President of ESGAR is a member of the Subspecialties Committee of the ESR.
The Society has developed a strategy to promote teaching across Europe in specific aspects of its discipline by means of peripatetic hands-on workshops with a high teacher to student ratio. The first series of workshops commenced in September 2003 in Amsterdam/NL, where an expert ESGAR faculty taught two groups of 40 students the technique and interpretation of CT Colonography (CTC). The format proved to be extremely popular with both radiologists starting this important technique and with our industrial partners. The workshop, refined each time by feedback from participants and adapted to current needs, is held twice a year.
Additional series of workshops have been developed in 2007. An interactive, hands-on workshop for small groups on the evolving image-guided ablation (IGA) took place in Pisa/IT for the first time and was repeated in 2008 in Geneva/CH and in 2009 in London/UK.
Furthermore, a workshop series on liver imaging focused on clinical application and complemented with interactive case discussions was organised in Amsterdam/NL in October 2007 for the first time and is held twice a year ever since.
In 2012 a new workshop series on Hot Topics in Abdominal Imaging was introduced. The first workshop was a Pancreas Workshop that took place in Verona/IT in March 2012. Due to the success it was decided to repeat the Pancreas Workshop annually and to organise also multidisciplinary pancreatic courses in collaboration with the European Pancreatic Club (EPC).
As part of the Hot Topics in Abdominal imaging series, a MRI of the Abdomen Workshop was organised in Muscat/OM in February 2015.
In 2013 ESGAR successfully applied for the UEG training support of a new workshop. This bowel imaging workshop took place in October 2013 in Amsterdam/NL in cooperation with the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP). This workshop was repeated in 2014 and 2015 and will take place again in Lisbon/PT in 2018.
In 2014 ESGAR applied again successfully for the UEG training support of a new workshop in collaboration with the European Society of Digestive Oncology (ESDO). This multidisciplinary workshop on hepatobiliary, pancreatic and GI tract neoplasms took place in 2015 and 2017.
New ESGAR workshops on Acute Abdomen and on liver oncology were launched in Amsterdam/NL in October 2016 and Lisbon/PT in 2017 and since then repeated annually.
Another important and very successful initiative of the Society to promote GI imaging among new generations of radiologists and senior residents is the Junior ESGAR Summer School. The structure consists of a five-day programme, based on topics from GI sub-specialty European curriculum. Schools took place in Rome/IT in 2015, in Valencia/ES in 2016 and in 2017 the Summer School moved to Modica in Sicily/IT. The Summer School will be repeated annually in July.
The officers of the Society believe that the founders' aims and ambitions have been fulfilled. Today, the Society represents a major forum for all European radiologists interested in this subspecialty. It has succeeded in transferring knowledge and information across Europe, has generated integration and friendship amongst radiologists in this particular field and encouraged close multidisciplinary co-operation with gastroenterologists, surgeons and pathologists. Regarding its future, the Society is committed to creating closer links with other groups involved in gastroenterology.