Ultrasound: Taking Smaller Footprints on Foot
Smaller size and high performance will be the ultrasound buzz words at RSNA 2008. We’ve seen an increase in ultrasound system sales this year, namely in portables as well as for ob/gyn, echocardiography and 3D and 4D system. Around the exhibit show floors of McCormick Place and Lakeside Center, vendors will be showing enhancements that fine-tune image acquisition, especially for cardiology and breast imaging. Elasticity imaging is helping to differentiate lesions within the breast.

Chison Medical Imaging (Booth 6654) is unveiling iVis 60 LIVE, a 4T light probe, which releases doctors from scanning fatigue, the company says. The system includes a vibration- and noise-free probe that allows better care for mother and fetus. Its tomography imaging function ensures more accurate diagnosis. The 4D volume rate reveals fetal movement in real time.

Civco Medical Solutions (Booth 8210) is featuring a new needle guidance system for Ultrasonix and needle guidance compatibility with SonoSite P21 series transducers.

For Ultrasonix, the L14-5 38mm and L9-4 38mm AccuSITE needle guide is designed to work in conjunction with biopsy software on the Sonix OP, Sonix SP, Sonix CEP and Sonix RP ultrasound platforms. Civco’s needle guidance system offers physicians a tool for vessel cannulation. The needle guidance is compatible with SonoSite P21 series transducers on M-Turbo, S-Cath, S-FAST and S-ICU ultrasound systems.

GE Healthcare (Booth 5529) is highlighting its small footprint Logiq P6 with high-detail resolution and color flow that allows clinicians to distinguish between cystic and solid lesions, especially in small areas such as the thyroid, breast and ovary.

The company also is featuring its Logiq e and Logiq i ultrasound systems. Whether performing a routine vascular exam, charting fetal development or determining the status of a torn rotator cuff, the Logiq e handles general and shared-service imaging needs and offers clinicians mobility. The Logiq i, a wireless capable ultrasound system, is light enough to carry throughout the hospital for radiology or vascular studies, even musculoskeletal and oncology imaging.

Hitachi Medical Systems
(Booth 227) is showcasing new improvements to the HI Vision 900 and 5500 ultrasound scanners, as well as advances in real-time tissue elastography (E-mode), for applications beyond breast imaging, including clinical cases in thyroid, prostate, musculoskeletal and liver.

Hitachi also is demonstrating its B514 interventional transducer, which features a split-crystal design, allowing the needle or therapy probe to be inserted directly through the center of the crystals to achieve a zero degree approach angle. Hitachi’s B512 microconvex probe has a specialized shape that facilitates intercostal biopsies.

Medison America
(Booth 4422) is launching its new Accuvix V20 model ultrasound scanner which provides a variety of 2D, 3D and 4D technologies targeted at increasing diagnostic confidence including 3DXI, XI Vocal, OVIX (Oblique View eXtended), Color STIC and inversion 3D. VolumeOS, the fundamental operating system of Accuvix V20, offers 3D/4D performance through an intuitive interface for diagnostic interaction. The console design boasts a 10.4-inch LCD touch panel for system interaction allowing the user to navigate through software functions.

Philips Healthcare (Booth 7713) is presenting expanded capabilities of its iU22 ultrasound platform through the Vision 2009 upgrade, representing the fourth major enhancement of the iU22.
Among the system’s updated capabilities and features are: VL13-5 linear array transducer for high performance 2D, 3D and 4D imaging for breast, small parts, vascular, and general applications; enhanced breast image quality through the new XRES algorithms and tissue aberration correction technology when imaging patients with fatty breast tissue; SmartExam system-guided protocols with new features that include exam record, support for 3D, and automatic mode switching; and enhanced vascular imaging capability with new levels of performance on the L9-3 transducer, as well as new dual imaging display capability.

Siemens Healthcare
(Booth 993) is presenting a new product portfolio featuring workflow-enhancing applications across portable, point-of-care systems, and the Acuson class of products.

The Acuson S2000 Automated Breast Volume Scanner, which is pending FDA approval, surveys and acquires full-field sonographic volumes for review and diagnosis of the breast. The system features an integrated suite design combining the Acuson S2000 ultrasound system and a column stand with an arm assembly holding a transducer pod.

The company also is highlighting its tissue strain analytics, a new ultrasound application that enables visual or numerical measurements of the mechanical stiffness of tissue. Tissue strain analytics features three applications: Virtual Touch tissue imaging on the Acuson S2000 ultrasound system, allows clinicians to create a relative stiffness map for a region of interest; Virtual Touch tissue quantification, which is an application that provides a numerical value of shear wave speed related to tissue stiffness at an anatomical location; and eSie Touch elasticity imaging, available on both the Acuson Antares and Acuson S2000 systems, which enables high-resolution elastography using both superficial and endocavity transducers.

Terason (Booth 1002) is unveiling its Impact 2008, a laptop ultrasound system with a Windows-based architecture with improved image quality through proprietary new algorithms, lateral resolution, advanced harmonic imaging (AHI) and OmniVision. OmniVision features electronic beam steering for acquiring several scans from different viewing angles. OmniVision reduces speckle, shadowing, clutter and other acoustic artifacts.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth 3429) is displaying its women’s imaging ultrasound techniques that enable physicians to better evaluate breast lesions and Spatio-Temporal Image Correlation (STIC) technology to assess the fetal heart.

In breast imaging, the company’s MicroPure technology is geared for identifying and eventually characterizing micro-calcifications. The company is highlighting elastography as a works in progress, a technique that detects tumors based on their stiffness compared to normal tissue.

STIC is a gating technique used to assess the fetal heart. Data are acquired via an automatic volume acquisition that captures a number of 2D frames in a volume set, with the resulting volume image displaying a loop of the beating fetal heart. Because there is 3D information behind each frame, scan planes can be moved, rotated and manipulated.

Zonare Medical Systems
(Booth 909) is showcasing its new cardiology option for the z.one ultra system, which incorporates Zone Sonography technology, allowing cardiologists to perform a full diagnostic exam. Its new L14-5w probe has a wide field of view with an aperture of 55 mm, offering virtual apex capability. The new transducer has 10 frequencies including three fundamental, one tissue harmonic, two compound imaging and two each for color Doppler and PW Doppler modes.