Ultrasound sounds better and better
GE Voluson iGE Healthcare (Booth #7158) is showcasing the Voluson E8, the company’s next-generation ultrasound platform designed for obstetrics and gynecology applications. The Voluson E8 includes a number of new tools, such as sonography-based volume computer-aided diagnosis (SonoVCAD), a new automated imaging tool that enables clinicians to create fetal heart exams more efficiently. In fetal imaging, this technology automatically generates multidimensional images of the right and left outflow tracts once a standardized four-chamber view has been obtained.

GE also is bringing to RSNA its Voluson i, a compact 4D ultrasound system designed specifically for women’s health, gynecological, prenatal, and other clinical applications. The compact laptop-size system helps clinicians make immediate real-time diagnoses by providing high-quality imaging at the bedside or wherever the patient is located.

Also on display is the LOGIQ P5. This new, smaller ultrasound system for private practices, specialized clinics, and community hospitals is built for portable radiology department applications as well as private practices and specialized clinics. The system features GE’s patented High Definition Speckle Reduction Imaging (HD-SRI); CrossXBeam spatial compounding; and 4D Imaging.

GE also is showcasing two newly introduced capabilities for its LOGIQ 9 ultrasound system, with Organ Specific Imaging (OSI) for clearer views of anatomy. This technology adjusts the imaging mode to the specific tissue type, as all organs are different and imaging should be specific to the particular organ tissue to maximize image quality. The system also includes GE’s new TUI (Tomographic Ultrasound Imaging) that enables high definition 3D images to be displayed and navigated in multiple slices similar to CT and MR, and 4-D images can be seen in a “movie” mode either during or after the exam. The system also provides physicians a “multi-planar” view, which allows them to compare several different perspectives of an organ at once.

Another system, the LOGIQ i, is planned for commercial introduction in time for RSNA.

The LOGIQ i places the imaging capabilities of GE’s LOGIQ consoles into a laptop-size design.

Medison Accuvix XQMedison America (Booth #2977) is highlighting its upgraded flagship ultrasound system, Accuvix XQ. This upgrade, dubbed the Prestige Edition, includes an enhanced 3D eXtended Imaging technology (3D XI), a collection of comprehensive 3D image processing technology that incorporates CT and MRI-like functions. The system also includes Multi-Slice view, Oblique View, and VolumeCT.

Multi-Slice View transforms 3D volume data obtained from a regular ultrasound scan into a series of sequential images captured in intervals of 0.5 mm (minimum) to 3 mm (maximum) segments. This enables users to instantly view, analyze, and understand more in-depth data. Oblique View enables the user to examine and view 3D volume data in various planes without limitations. VolumeCT is a tool for understanding the relationship of coronal and axial views of a 3D data set in a 3D environment and visually being able to express that relationship.

Medison also is showing its black-and-white ultrasound sys-tem, the SonoAce X4. The system features full-spectrum imaging, synthetic aperture, tissue harmonic imaging, a high dynamic range of 150 dB, freehand 3D and 3D multiplanar imaging, quick scan times, post gain control, and high-resolution zoom. All four wheels swivel, and the system features front and rear handles as well as integrated storage shelves. User benefits include a silent fan, intelligent grouping keys, and four probe holders. Data management features include a CD R/W drive, DICOM compatibility, four USB ports, and Flash memory.

Philips iSLICE technologyPhilips Medical Systems (Booth #1965) is bringing new technologies and products that expand the clinical value of volumetric imaging, shorten exam times, provide new tools for interventional procedures, and facilitate intracardiac echo exams. The Vision 2007 and Performance 2007 ultrasound system and quantification software enhancements include some of the following new technologies:
  • iSLICE intelligent slicing that uses volumetric imaging to provide precision progressive views of anatomy;
  • Customizable protocol-driven exams that can reduce procedure time and improve exam consistency across the department;
  • Imaging enhancements and tools for interventional procedures, including RF ablation and ultrasound-guided nerve blocks;
  • A V6-2 automated volumetric transducer that allows for 2D and 3D image acquisition in one transducer;
  • A L15-7io compact, high-frequency transducer for musculoskeletal exams and intraoperative vascular procedures; and
  • A D2tcd transducer and tissue-specific imaging enhancements to the S5-1 PureWave transducer are providing new capabilities for adult transcranial Doppler imaging.
These and other 2007 enhancements are included on the iU22, HD11 XE, and HD3 ultrasound systems, as well as QLAB quantification software.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #4114) is highlighting the 4.0 release for its ACUSON Antares ultrasound system that features shared service cardiology applications, in addition to general imaging applications and advanced clinical applications such as 3D/4D and contrast agent imaging.

With its enhanced imaging performance, the system enables physicians to better view disease, even with the most technically difficult-to-image patients.

The Antares 4.0 is equipped with a high-resolution, 19-inch, flat-panel display mounted on an articulating arm for optimal viewing position. Ergonomic design features include the natural and extended reach zone concept that places controls and peripheral devices so they are easily accessible.

Other features of the Antares include:
  • A full suite of Hanafy Lens and Multi-D array transducers for 2D and color Doppler imaging;
  • Clarify vascular enhancement technology that allows physicians to optimize vascular images;
  • TEQ that automatically optimizes both 2D and spectral Doppler images;
  • fourSight 4D ultrasound imaging technology for easy 4D volume acquisition and workflow support, enabling reduced exam acquisition and postprocessing time;
  • SieScape panoramic imaging as well as SieClear multi-view spatial compounding for enhanced viewing of gross anatomic orientation and detection of subtle structures;
  • Cadence contrast pulse sequencing technology that separates the display of contrast agent signals from tissue signals. This results in additional diagnostic information with more sensitivity and specificity in lesion detection and characterization for both low and high mechanical index contrast agent imaging; and
  • An enhanced screen layout, featuring a large user interface and thumbnails for better screen overview and operation when scanning or reviewing.
Current SONOLINE and ACUSON Antares customers can upgrade to the expanded capabilities of the 4.0 edition.

SonoSite P17 transducerSonoSite (Booth #4948) is showcasing its new high-frequency transducer, enhancements for wireless connectivity and security, and additional capabilities to its MicroMaxx system’s performance in anesthesiology, cardiology, emergency medicine, and pediatric radiology. Current customers can upgrade existing MicroMaxx systems to the new capabilities via compact flash cards. Specific highlights include a new C11e/8-5 transducer, an upgraded P17/5-1 phased array transducer, and enhanced wireless connectivity.

Toshiba Aplio XGToshiba America Medical Systems (Booth #1129) is showcasing its Aplio XG upgrade, which is pending 510(k) approval. The next-generation Aplio XG provides several en-hancements towards improved productivity, as well as facilitating connectivity and enhanced ergonomics, including an ergo-optimized control panel. Other enhancements include 4D for radiology applications and IHE compliance. The Aplio XG upgrade is available on the company’s Aplio ultrasound system.

Image from Zonare's L8-3 transducerZONARE Medical Systems (Booth #1971) is demonstrating new hardware and software upgrades on its z.one ultrasound system. The upgrades include new transducers, image storage capabilities, and image quality improvements. In addition, upgrades addressing complete auto-optimization of 2D imaging and spectral Doppler, wireless connections and a HDMI/DVI digital interface are being presented. Finally, a new miniCart option for the z.one’s scan engine, where space and economics are an issue, is being highlighted. 

Ultrasound Peripherals
Biodex (Booth #7035) is demonstrating its dual-purpose Sound Pro Combination Table that accommodates ultrasound and echocardiography procedures. The table is applicable for OB/GYN, general ultrasound and echocardiography. The Sound Pro is extra wide with 500-pound lift capacity and a height range down to 23 inches to accommodate wheelchair transfers, patients with ambulatory difficulties, and the bariatric population. The table has a height range that allows seated or standing work positions while the pivoting side rails and adjustable sonographer cutout cushion allow comfortable shoulder, arm and hand positions when scanning. There are no barriers between sonographer and patient, allowing correct scanning posture to prevent musculoskeletal injury. The cardiac scanning cutout enables open access to the patient’s left thorax area for an unobstructed apical approach. The motorized Fowler back is highly adjustable up to 80 degrees via hand or foot controller.

The table includes cushioned arm supports, a thick mattress, and various other comfort-driven design details. For example, the swing-out cushion doubles as an armrest. The leg section drops down to 40 degrees for patients with circulatory issues. The extra-wide tabletop comfortably accommodates bariatric patients.