Cardiac Imaging

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Cardiac imaging made a splash around the floor at RSNA - namely in advances in CT, echocardiography, SPECT and MRI. There was even a preview of computer assisted detection (CAD) technology for echo. With more, higher volume images, too, comes the need to manage them via PACS, and thus the number of cardiovascular information systems is increasing in number and breadth to meet the unique needs of cardiology practice.

With coronary heart disease still the leading killer of Americans (every 34 seconds an American dies from heart disease; 2,500 Americans die each day of heart disease.), cardiac imaging is a priority for patient care as well as healthcare management with almost 6 million hospitalizations each year due to cardiovascular disease. And there are 7.1 million Americans over the age of 20 who has survived a myocardial infarction for whom imaging is essential to monitor their well-being.

Here are a selection of new and enhanced products focused on imaging the heart and getting images and reports to caregivers fast.

Barco highlighted a new visualization software tool called CardiaMetrix designed for the rapid evaluation of multi-phase cardiac CT studies. It is available within the company's flagship 3D software product, Voxar 3D.

Biosound Esaote Inc., a division of Esaote SpA, displayed the MyLab 50 ultrasound system for cardiovascular exams.

Cedara Software, a Merge Healthcare company, showcased a coronary screening analysis tool. Cedara's CalScore Review software, which is designed for coronary screening, provides clinicians with quantification tools for arterial calcium buildup through CT imaging. Findings are organized in a customizable report, and Individual Score reports are based on the industry-standard Agatston as well as Volume or Mass score.

Cerner Corp. highlighted new features in cardiology PACS. Cerner CVNet and Cardiology PACS offers an end-to-end cardiology solution that manages cardiology images and digital media (echo, ECG, nuclear medicine) from a single repository and unifies cardiovascular diagnostic activities, therapeutic interventions and follow up regimens into a single electronic medical record history for improved outcomes. CVNet is fully integrated with the EHR on a common architecture.

DR Systems showcased enhanced cardiology PACS capabilities into its Dominator PACS. The Windows XP-based Release 8 uses "Smart Client" technology that combines web-based and client-server functionality. The next release offers an enhanced cardiology component; full integration of mammography PACS capabilities, including a smooth interface to computer-assisted detection (CAD) systems; enhanced patient management tools for the RIS; an updated user interface that enhances the look and feel of the Windows XP operating system; integration of TraumaCad to provide orthopedic surgeons with digital images, tools and templates for preoperative planning; integration of Vital Images' Vitrea 2, allowing facilities to acquire and manage advanced visualization images with diagnostic reports across the entire healthcare system and enhancement of Web Dominator, the internet application that allows online reading of medical imaging exams on remotely located home or office computers.

Evolved at RSNA highlighted View² PACS that unites radiology and cardiology on one web-based platform. Authorized users can access the system from any PC at any site, with no extra cost and no need for special equipment. View² offers high-resolution 3D viewing, plus two types of static and dynamic 2D viewing. For greater flexibility, information can be accessed either by workflow or by patient record.

GE Healthcare showcased its LightSpeed VCT 64 channel CT scanner, as well as using the show to spring board a new line of CT scanners that are compact in design and appropriate for a wide range of basic radiology applications.

In a single rotation, GE's LightSpeed VCT creates 64 sub-millimeter images, totaling 40 millimeters of anatomical coverage, which are combined to form a three dimensional view of a patient's anatomy. The LightSpeed VCT is able to capture the image of any organ in one second, perform a whole body trauma scan in fewer than 10 seconds, and capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in as few as five heartbeats, GE said.

Since its introduction at last year's RSNA, the scanner has been installed at more than 500 clinical sites, according to the company.

GE also showcased tagged adaptive technologies for its