JVIR Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation. Part 3: 2001–2005

JVIR Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation. Part 3: 2001–2005

JVIR HISTORY JVIR Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation. Part 3: 2001–2005 Tony P. Smith, MD Karim Valji, MD, (Fig 1) served as the third editor of the J...

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JVIR Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation. Part 3: 2001–2005 Tony P. Smith, MD Karim Valji, MD, (Fig 1) served as the third editor of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR) from January 2001 to December 2005. In his first editorial, entitled “The Torch Is Passed” (1), he set the stage for his stewardship of JVIR: The Journal has survived the severing of its umbilical cord to the [Radiological Society of North America], the destruction of the editorial office in Miami by Hurricane Andrew, and times of personal tragedy. Its meteoric rise is due almost entirely to the efforts of its first two editors, Gary Becker and Dan Picus, and its long-standing managing editor, Cathy Mendelsohn. Their vision, dedication, and seemingly indefatigable energy are largely responsible for the high regard of JVIR both inside and outside the interventional radiology community. It is a distinct honor to follow these giants in our field and guide the Journal into the 21st century.

clear move away from solitary case reports. Under the direction of Jeanne LaBerge, MD, the “IR Case Corner” became a regular feature. Around the turn of the millennium, all highly regarded medical journals were introducing an online platform to supplement the print version. Online publication of JVIR began in February 2001. Dr. Valji worked aggressively during the year before taking over the editorship to achieve this critical benefit for readers. Legacy issues of the journal were added over time. Online submission of manuscripts was introduced in January 2004. Most authors took to the system with ease, perhaps a reflection of the fact that interventional radiologists are a tech-savvy group. As predicted by the publisher (but doubted by the editor), the number of manuscripts increased substantially when the submission process was changed. This format was particularly advantageous for foreign authors. Another key benefit was the reduced time from author submission through the

In looking back on the state of JVIR as he began his tenure as editor, Dr. Valji recently said: Frankly, I inherited a great journal from Gary and Dan in 2001—strong, highly respected, and well recognized throughout the medical world. I had two primary goals from the start. First, to quickly follow the wave of technologic advancement with a webbased journal and later online manuscript submission. And second, to significantly raise the bar on the quality of the science we published. There were a lot of changes to the journal in 2001. JVIR increased the frequency of publication from 10 to 12 issues per year beginning with the January 2001 issue, in JVIR’s 12th year of publication. A redesigned cover was unveiled for that January issue (Fig 2). A new journal format was introduced: articles were organized into Clinical Studies, Brief Reports, and Laboratory Investigations. There was a From the Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Erwin Road, Room 1502, Box 3808, Durham, NC 27710. Final revision received July 8, 2015; accepted July 9, 2015. Address correspondence to: T.P.S.; E-mail: [email protected] The author has not identified a conflict of interest. & SIR, 2015 J Vasc Interv Radiol 2015; 26:1313–1316 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvir.2015.07.003

Figure 1. Karim Valji, MD, third editor of JVIR, January 2001 to December 2005.


JVIR Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation



Figure 2. JVIR cover, 2001–2005.

review process, revision, and publication. Dr. Valji was also quite proud of his efforts to improve the mean time from manuscript submission to decision. That figure decreased to less than 30 days during his time as editor.

As one reexamines the pages of JVIR for the years 2001–2005, it is apparent that interventional radiology, both nationally and internationally, had embraced the monitoring of itself, its procedures, the interests of patient

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care, and, in essence, the responsibility for the effectiveness and safety of minimally invasive diagnosis and therapy. The Standards of Practice Committee of the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (SCVIR) oversaw an array of publications during these years. Dr. Valji led the creation of an entire supplement consisting of quality improvement guidelines, consensus documents, and credentialing statements, among others, representing a compilation of the Standards Division’s published work to date (September 2003) (2). The lead article in that issue, titled “Clinical Practice Guidelines,” included the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) Classification System for Complications by Outcome (2). This article by Sacks et al (2) is the most highly cited article in JVIR, as it provides the classification system for procedural complications still used today. Reporting standards and training, competency, and credentialing standards for many percutaneous therapies were published, including, but certainly not limited to, acute limb ischemia, uterine artery embolization, intra-arterial cerebral thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke, carotid artery angioplasty and stent placement, inferior vena cava filter placement, and practice guidelines for interventional clinical practice. The journal published many important and groundbreaking articles, including “Treatment of Pelvic Arteriovenous Malformations with Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer (Onyx)” (3), “Intravascular Radiation Therapy after Balloon Angioplasty of Narrowed Femoropopliteal Arteries to Prevent Restenosis: Results of the PARIS Feasibility Clinical Trial” (4), “Radiation Doses in Interventional Radiology Procedures: the RAD-IR Study—Part I: Overall Measures of Dose” (5), “Polyvinyl Alcohol Particles and Tris-acryl Gelatin Microspheres for Uterine Artery Embolization for Leiomyomas: Results of a Randomized Comparative Study” (6), and “Prospective Evaluation of Higher Energy Great Saphenous Vein Endovenous Laser Treatment” (7), to name only a few. In January 2001, the results of SIR’s efforts to screen patients for peripheral vascular disease (Legs For Life) were published (8). A 2001 prospective randomized trial (9) comparing three different dialysis catheters sparked discussion when it was noted that the study lacked institutional review board (IRB) approval. At that time, JVIR did not have a firm written policy for IRB approval of accepted reports. A knowledgeable reader alerted the editor to the omission. Dr. Valji formulated a policy for journal authors, which he spelled out in an excellent editorial in the March 2002 issue entitled “IRB Approval—Who Needs It?” (10). Review articles became another almost monthly feature of the journal. Dr. Valji recruited noted authorities in IR and related fields to address topics relevant to the procedures and the clinical practice of interventional radiologists. Another important new journal element was regular invited commentaries about a highly significant clinical study in that issue of the journal. “I tried to publish a commentary in almost every issue. Those pieces really added some spice or controversy to the


otherwise impersonal nature of the writing in the rest of the journal,” stated Dr. Valji. Perhaps Dr. Valji’s most important achievement was to elevate the quality of science published in the journal. He limited the number of case reports accepted for publication, preferring to offer shortened versions of the best cases as letters to the editor. Despite the knowledge that few readers care much for basic science reports, he published as many laboratory investigations as met his standards. And he tried to avoid publishing “me-too” papers that added little to the existing literature on a subject or studies on a “hot topic” that were not scientifically sound. He was clearly aiming for rigor and originality, not quantity and trendiness. Dr. Valji admitted: It was disappointing to receive a major clinical paper about a newly developing procedure in IR that was potentially impactful to readers but suffered from bad or sloppy science. As my standards became more and more exacting, the number of papers in the publishing “pipeline” dropped. There were a few months in the middle of my tenure when I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough articles to fill an upcoming issue of the journal! The years from 2001 to 2005 saw device innovations including the first stent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt creation in January 2002 (Wallstent; Boston Scientific, Natick, Massachusetts), followed by the covered stent (VIATORR, WL Gore & Associates, Flagstaff, Arizona) in December 2004. The AMPLATZER 1 vascular occlusion device (then AGA, now St. Jude Medical, St. Paul, Minnesota) was FDA-approved in May 2004, and SIR-Spheres (Sirtex Medical, North Sydney, Australia) in March 2002. These years began the retrievable filter age, with the release of the Günther Tulip IVC filter (Cook, Bloomington Indiana) in the United States in 2001 followed by FDA approval for its removal in 2003, the same year as the Recovery filter (Bard, Covington, Georgia). The OptEase filter (Cordis, Miami Lakes, Florida) became the third retrievable filter with US FDA approval for removal in September 2004. The cutting balloon (Boston Scientific) received FDA approval for peripheral use in August 2004, but the biggest headlines may have been approval of a drug-eluting coronary stent, the sirolimus-eluting Cypher stent (Cordis) in 2003, followed by the paclitaxel-eluting Taxus stent (Boston Scientific) in 2004. It is notable that Dr. Valji maintained a relatively low profile in the journal and kept the content almost strictly science-based. There were few editorials during his tenure; controversial issues in IR and some noteworthy events (such as the name change from SCVIR to SIR in April 2002) received no special attention. Dr. Valji smiled at this observation: Well, I guess I was a traditionalist and a bit of a purist about JVIR. Commentaries and editorials outside the


JVIR Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation



Figure 3. Kerri Lima (left), administrative assistant to Karim Valji, MD, JVIR Editor, 2001–2005; Dr. Valji (center); and Cathy Mendelsohn (right), JVIR Managing Editor, 1990–2007.

realm of medical science were not a prominent part of many medical journals in the past. Obviously, this has changed considerably. I applaud Ziv Haskal for addressing controversies and many “nonmedical” issues facing interventional radiologists today, both inside and outside the journal. But I also think my relative lack of visibility reflected my leadership style, whether at the journal or running an IR section. As a leader, I am naturally more of a shepherd than a general. Reflecting back on his tenure as editor, Dr. Valji notes: It was probably the most rewarding thing I have done in my career. It was pure academic medicine at its best. And SIR kept to its word—not once in 6 years did leadership try to influence or guide my work as editor of their journal. When asked what it was like to be editor-in-chief, I often told people that it felt something like being a parent. The journal becomes more important than any other aspect of your own personal academic life. Your job is to nurture your authors in a firm but constructive way. There are very few direct rewards for your efforts, and certainly no monetary gain. The work never goes away, not for vacations or sickness or personal problems. No matter what, you must get an issue out every month. I was very fortunate to have a delightful assistant, Kerri Lima, to take care of the administrative work. And I was blessed that Cathy Mendelsohn continued as managing editor (Fig 3). She was the foundation of the journal from its very inception, and she is simply a gem. I cannot imagine having served as editor without her.

But in the end, I was acting as a single parent. Given the impressive growth of the journal over its first 20 years, Dr. Haskal was very wise to engage a cadre of energetic and smart deputy and associate editors to share the workload. And when my tenure was over, and the journal moved into the exceedingly capable hands of Dr. Al Nemcek, all I could do was watch it flourish from the sidelines.

REFERENCES 1. Valji K. The torch is passed. J Vasc Intervent Radiol 2001; 12:1–2. 2. Sacks D, McClenny TE, Cardella JF, Lewis CA. Society of interventional radiology clinical practice guidelines. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2003; 14: S199–S202. 3. Castaneda F, Goodwin SC, Swischuk JL, et al. Treatment of pelvic arteriovenous malformations with ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (Onyx). J Vasc Interv 2001; 12:513–516. 4. Waksman R, Laird JR, Jurkovitz CT, et al. For the PARIS investigators. Intravascular radiation therapy after balloon angioplasty of narrowed femoropopliteal arteries to prevent restenosis: results of the PARIS feasibility clinical trial. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2001; 12:915–921. 5. Miller DL, Balter S, Cole PE, et al. Radiation doses in interventional radiology procedures: the RAD-IR study part I: overall measures of dose. J Vasc Interv 2003; 14:711–727. 6. Spies JB, Allison S, Flick P, et al. Polyvinyl alcohol particles and tris-acryl gelatin microspheres for uterine artery embolization for leiomyomas: results of a randomized comparative study. J Vasc Interv 2004; 15:793–800. 7. Timperman PE. Prospective evaluation of higher energy great saphenous vein endovenous laser treatment. J Vasc Interv 2005; 16:791–794. 8. Savader SJ, Ehrman KO, Porter DJ, Leslie D,LD, Oteham AC. Legs for lifes screening for peripheral vascular disease: results of a prospective study designed to improve patient compliance with physician recommendations. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2001; 12: 1149–1155. 9. Richard HM, Hastings GS, Boyd-Kranis RS, et al. A randomized, prospective evaluation of the tesio, ash split, and opti-flow hemodialysis catheters. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2001; 12:431–435. 10. Valji K. “IRB approval—who needs it?”. J Vasc Interv Radiol 2002; 13: 225–226.