Ultrasound brings new volume vision

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Many cutting-edge ultrasound systems highlighted at RSNA are getting smaller but also more powerful, packing a seemingly endless amount of functionalities/capabilities. 3D/4D capability was oft-mentioned and grants sonographers a powerful tool for guiding through volume data. A number of systems allow for virtual rescans of raw image data. Of note, too, were several systems that provide tools that allow ultrasound images to be fused with static CT/MR, for example.

Aloka introduced its new ProSound Alpha 10 ultrasound system that includes a Real-Time 4D package with 3D measurements, 360 degrees of vertical and horizontal rotation, and a 1/2/4 way split screen for simultaneous display of a 4D image with as many as three additional sections.

Another highlighted feature was eFlow, a blood flow analysis tool that provides for sensitive detection of blood perfusion. Additionally, the ProSound Alpha 10's Compound Pulse-Wave Generator is capable of producing a transmission signal through on/off signal timing to reduce signal noise.

Ardent Sound Inc. (aka Guided Therapy Systems, Inc.) used RSNA to debut the Voyager compact ultrasound system.

Voyager is designed to function as a peripheral with a standard laptop or desktop personal computer. The DICOM compatible system features a flexible design, and with its PC platform enables end-users to regularly upgrade the system with new software and firmware, for instance, 3D and other options.

Also on display were the Spark ultra high-frequency array system and Seeker general-purpose array system.

Biosound Esaote Inc. showed new additions to its MyLab 70 which is geared for general imaging. Additions include a full set of ultrasound features for use in radiology, vascular applications as well as OB/GYN practitioners.

The upgradeable MyLab 15 and 20 were also on display, which are suited for OB/GYN and musculoskeletal applications. The systems are fully digital, include DICOM output, as well as an internal archive. MyLab 20 offers a color version.

MyLab 50 is geared for cardiovascular exams.

Esaote also showcased the work-in-progress Virtual Navigator which combines real-time ultrasound with static imaging.

GE Healthcare showcased its new Volume Imaging Protocol for ultrasound. The new technology gathers raw data and by using GE's LOGIQ 7 or 9 systems, the information can be shifted to a LOGIQworks workstation to be processed offline. The LOGIQ system includes a number of specialized tools and is based on a combination of the company's Centricity workstation capabilities.

The VIP technology allows for virtual re-scans of patients well after the original scan through manipulation of the raw data. Volumetric and multi-dimensional images can be created in real-time.

Hitachi Medical Systems highlighted new features of its HI VISION line of high-resolution digital ultrasound systems. The HI VISION 6500 system now includes Real-time 3D Imaging which enables users a number of 3D features and additional scanning parameters. This system also can be used for breast imaging.

The HI VISION 8500 system has a new feature called SonoElastography which is able to acquire tissue elasticity data through the use of freehand compression while a scan is going on.

Medison introduced new additions to its mid-range Sonoace 8000 live. One big addition to the system is the migration onto the system of the company's 3D Extended Imaging (3D XI) technology, which offers diagnostic ultrasound image processing. 3D XI is designed to bring CT and MRI-like imaging to ultrasound diagnosis.

Medison also showcased a new cardiovascular edition of the SonoAce Special Edition (SE). The mid-class ultrasound system has been outfitted with new processing technology, as well as CW (Continuous Wave) Doppler imaging and pulse inversion harmonic imaging.

Mindray showcased its DP-9900Plus Digital Ultrasonic Diagnostic Imaging System which puts to use the company's all-digital ultrasound technology. The system joins ultra broad-band, multi-frequency technology with an ergonomic engineering design.

Philips Medical Systems showcased its iU22 Intelligent Ultrasound System which now includes new cardiology capabilities such as Live 3D Echo and 3D/4D abdominal image quality, on- and off-cart upgrades to QLAB Quantification Software, and a new L9-3 transducer. SonoCT with XRES technology is part of the iU22 system for 3D, 4D and MPR imaging which allows for such new applications as real-time 4D imaging of the fetal heart.

Another system,