GE's ACOG highlights

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GE Healthcare highlighted a number of new developments at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) annual meeting in San Francisco, Calif., May 9 -11, including a new, non-invasive treatment for uterine fibroids. The magnetic resonance (MR) image guided focused ultrasound system, the world's first, can provide women a non-invasive treatment that allows for quick recovery and a reduced rate of recurrence, GE Healthcare said.
   
Uterine fibroids affect up to 70 percent of all reproductive age women, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and are the most common, non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age as well as the second most common reason women undergo surgery in that age group.

Working jointly, GE Healthcare and InSightec, a developer of non-invasive therapy systems, are working to deliver this new technology to provide physicians a map of the exact location of the fibroid which would then be targeted by a thermal beam at the tumor. To accomplish this, InSightec's ExAblate 2000 system, which was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has been designed to work exclusively in conjunction with GE's Signa MR system.

With these tools, physicians will be able to measure the size of a tumor before precisely ablating it through concentrated sound wave energy, without incision. Another benefit is real-time therapy planning capabilities via tools that monitor thermal effects, which helps to guarantee the success of the procedures and patient safety, GE Healthcare said.

GE Healthcare also featured the company's Voluson 730 system with Volume Ultrasound capability, which helps clinicians easily examine the outflow tracts of the fetal heart during a standard ultrasound exam.