Richard Semelka

MD, Radiology, UNC-Chapel Hill, Clinical Research, Gastrointestinal Oncology Program

Richard Semelka

UNC-Chapel Hill
Clinical Research
Gastrointestinal Oncology Program

2001 Old Clinic

Clinical profile

Area of interest

My main clinical expertise lies in cross sectional abdominal imaging with an emphasis on MRI, with a particular interest in liver, pancreas, kidney and bowel diseases. I regularly conduct various teaching and categorical courses at International Radiology Conferences.

My primary research interests are reproduceability of image quality, patient throughput and patient safety. Most of my efforts have been in MRI, to improve image quality, reproducibility and diagnostic information in the investigation of diseases of the abdomen. I have published some of the earliest work on the use of gadolinium chelate contrast agents in abdominal imaging, fat suppression and breath hold and snap shot gradient echo and spin echo images for the demonstration of the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bowel and peritoneum. I continue to publish articles in peer-reviewed literature of these subjects.

To further the widespread and appropriate use of MRI in the abdomen, my research has focused on descriptions of specific disease entities (to expand the knowledge base of the appearance of various diseases processes in current MR techniques), technical work on optimization of sequences, comparison between various MR sequences, comparisons between CT and MR, and evaluation of the effect on patient management of MR examination. My work has emphasized that MR studies can be performed as set protocols that do not require physician intervention, and that by employing multiple different short duration sequences in a multiplanar fashion with routine contrast administration, MR studies can be performed in a time efficient fashion while providing comprehensive information on disease processes. My underlying philosophy has been recently refined to optimize health care for patients, which may be achieved in many settings by the following: performing MR studies, due to its safety and diagnostic accuracy, awareness of the risks of excessive medical radiation exposure, and safety issues with gadolinium agents. This is reflected in my recent specific interest in patient safety, addressing medical radiation and iodinated contrast agents, and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis with specific gadolinium chelates in MRI.

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