放射線診断学分野 教授  村上 卓道

In 2017, the Department of Radiology was divided into two, more specialized fields: diagnostic radiology and oncology. Due to the distinct expertise required in each, this recalibration allows us to better respond to -- what I think are -- the needs of our times. I was appointed as the first chief professor of this newly structured department. OF the three pillars of diagnostic medicine (physical, biochemical, and image), diagnostic radiology is responsible for the last: image diagnosis. Furthermore, interventional radiology (IVR) is one of the five pillars of therapeutic medicine, which also include surgery, psychology, medicine, and radiation therapy. However, although IVR is a prominent subject in many developed countries, it is still gaining recognition in Japan. Recently, there has been an increase in demand and a corresponding shortage of full-time radiology staff in municipal ad university hospitals. Moreover, the recent and rapid developments in both diagnostic and IVR equipment have necessitated an increasing degree of specialized knowledge.
In our department, we dedicate ourselves to maintaining a productive balance between education, clinical work, and research in diagnostic radiology and IVR (also including CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine). We strive to become a department that contributes not only to the advancement of science in Japan, but on a global scale. In turn, we also hope to build upon the development of Kobe University for years to come.

Head of Department, Professor
Takamichi Murakami


Diagnostic Radiology

Advances in medical diagnostic equipment and procedures, which occur at a remarkable pace, have necessitated a progression away from field and organ-specific knowledge towards a more interdisciplinary approach. As a specialized department fit to respond to such changes, we at the Diagnostic Radiology Division use the latest equipment to perform procedures such as X-ray, CT, MRI, RI, PET, and PET/CT to ensure the accurate imaging diagnosis of cancer and other various conditions.
Based on an examination request from the attending physician, the designated radiologist considers the appropriate imaging method according to the patients’ medical conditions. The role of the diagnostic radiologist is to examine and extract abnormal findings from all images and to communicate with the attending physician. Furthermore, in emergency cases or upon detecting a malignant tumor, we cooperate with the attending physician to ensure no details in the examination have been overlooked.
In addition to dual-energy CT, 3-Tesla MRI, PET/MRI, we are using and developing the latest imaging methods and contrast agents that allow us to extract higher quality images. Finally, by using iterative reconstruction to reduce radiation exposure and using low tube voltage to reduce the amount of contrast agent needed, we aim to develop imaging methods that truly service the needs of the patient.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine examinations enable us to image and measure the functions and abnormalities of the following, as well as making tumor-detection possible:

  • The central nervous system
  • Various respiratory, digestive, urogenital, and circulatory organs
  • Bone soft-tissue and joints
  • Endocrine organs
  • Blood / hematopoietic organs

By introducing and imaging a drug marked by a radioactive isotope with a short half-life, we measure the functions of organs while mitigating the stress imposed on the patient. Such imaging techniques help us make accurate diagnoses as they provide information that is difficult to recognize on X-ray, CT, and MRI. Recently, positron emission tomography (PET) has also gained significant attention.
The Nuclear Medicine / PET group here at the Kobe University Department of Radiology performs general nuclear medicine and PET examinations, while referring to CT, MRI, ultrasound, and endoscopic examinations to form more comprehensive diagnoses. Each individual drug used in the nuclear/PET examination provides specific information – thus, each drug has both advantages and limitations. A thorough understanding of each drug allows us to utilize their distinct characteristics to aid us in various clinical situations.
An increasing number of doctors in our department are well-versed in PET interpretation. In clinical PET examinations, the PET drug 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18 F-FDG) – a substance similar to glucose – is used most frequently. Working with other modalities within the hospital allows us to understand the truly important role that PET plays in diagnostic imaging. The study of nuclear medicine is an excellent opportunity for both foundational and specialized training, as it enables physicians to pursue qualifications such as specializations in radiology or nuclear medicine, as well as accreditation in PET nuclear medicine.
In addition to standard PET/CT devices, Kobe University Hospital has installed a PET / MRI integrated device – one of approximately ten units in the country – which has opened new clinical and academic possibilities in the field of diagnostic imaging.

Interventional Radiology (IVR)

Interventional Radiology entails treatment using diagnostic equipment, but it can be more specifically defined as minimally invasive treatment methods such as: endovascular surgery, endovascular treatment, and image guided treatment. Considering the severely aging population of Japan (of which 1 in 4 people are over the age of 65), the necessity for a minimally invasive treatment option such as IVR is clearly growing.
Our department oversees more than 1,000 medical cases per year, and we practice various IVR methods to treat different conditions:

  • Trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) for the treatment of arteriosclerosis obliterans (ASO)
  • Embolization for the treatment of visceral aneurysms

Moreover, with the help of angiographic devices situated in the Hybrid Operating Room, we are now able to perform more advanced and complex procedures which require surgical support such as aortic stent-grafting and obstetric balloon stenting for blood loss control. We also treat patients suffering from traumatic injuries, perinatal bleeding, and aortic aneurysm ruptures on a 24/7 emergency basis. We also consistently cooperate with other departments on various procedures and hold regular conferences with the cardiovascular surgery and gastrointestinal medicine/surgery departments to conduct case examinations.
Other relevant activities include participation in national, multi-institution clinical trials at the Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG) and Japan IVR in Oncology Study Group (JIVROSG). Our department also contributes to the development and standardization of advanced treatment methods by directing several of these clinical trials.
Currently, there are seven staff members specializing in IVR, and several are also leaders in thoracic/abdominal aneurysm stent-grafting. In addition, while actively accepting doctors in different departments (e.g. emergency, vascular surgery) and students from overseas, we have sent many of our staff overseas in return and encourage them to disseminate their unique knowledge to the world. If you are a medical student, researcher, or specialist with a passion for interventional radiology, we at the Kobe University IVR group await you with welcome arms!



〒650-0017 Kobe-shi, Chuo-ku, Kusunoki-cho 7-5-2

By subway:

5 minutes on foot from Kobe Municipal Subway OHKURAKAMA station

By train:

From JR KOBE station or Hankyu KŌSOKU-KOBE station
  • 15 minutes on foot
  • 5 minutes by #9 bus from JR KOBE station (alight at Daigaku-byōin Mae)
  • 5 minutes by taxi
From JR SHIN-KOBE station
  • 15 minutes by taxi