Friday, January 28, 2011

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Improves Diagnosis of Medical Conditions in Children

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New research released here Thursday shows that “contrast-enhanced ultrasound” (CEUS) can safely improve the diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions in children – without exposing them to ionizing radiation.

Dr. Martin Stenzel, a pediatric radiologist at the University Hospital in Jena, Germany, reported that no adverse safety event was found when CEUS was used to image some 50 pediatric patients at his hospital.

Stenzel presented his findings at the 16th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging in Rotterdam. The conference, which was co-sponsored by the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS), featured the latest clinical and research developments in the CEUS field.

“Our experience shows that this technology works in children as well as adults,” Stenzel said.

The youngest patient Stenzel and his colleagues examined with CEUS, was two years old, he said.

Unlike CT and nuclear imaging, ultrasound scans do not expose patients to ionizing radiation – which is associated with an increased lifetime risk of cancer, according to Stenzel.

“It is especially important to avoid subjecting children to diagnostic tests that use ionizing radiation because children have many years to live and the risk of cancer is cumulative,” Stenzel said. “In addition, we do not know how ionizing radiation may affect future reproductive capacity or the impact it may have on their unborn children.”

Stenzel said that since CEUS images are not jeopardized by patient movement, the technique is particularly suitable for imaging young patients who will not lay still. “This avoids the need for sedating children prior to imaging,” he said.

source: Business Wire

Thursday, January 13, 2011

St. Jude Medical Announces Launch of the ViewMate Z Intracardiac Ultrasound System and ViewFlex Plus ICE Catheter

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company, today announced the launch of its ViewMate(TM) Z Intracardiac Ultrasound System and ViewFlex(TM) Plus Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE) Catheter.

The ViewMate Z System is designed for real-time image guidance and visualization of the cardiac anatomy. The system is able to deliver fast, high-fidelity images that help direct diagnosis or therapy during complex electrophysiology procedures. The system is compatible with the new ViewFlex(TM) Plus ICE Catheter, which offers improved one-handed control, steering angles up to 120° and enhanced tip stability. The ViewMate Z System is designed to allow clinicians to better visualize a patient's cardiac anatomy and the effects of treatment in real-time.

One of the industry's smallest cart-based systems, the ViewMate Z System offers greater portability and optimizes vital lab space while reducing obstructions in a clinician's workflow. The system was designed, developed and provided through St. Jude Medical's development and distribution agreement with ZONARE Medical Systems, a leading provider of high-end ultrasound systems.

source: St. Jude Medical

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Ultrasound Technique Helps Identify Patients Who Need Breast Biopsies

A new ultrasound technique is proving valuable in distinguishing malignant from benign breast lesions in some patients – results that could mean fewer unnecessary breast biopsies, a new study shows.

The study found that ultrasound elastography, which indicates tissue softness, can help predict cancer in patients with BI-RADS category 4 masses. “Because malignant tumors predominantly are harder than benign tissues, this technique significantly improves the differentiation between benign and malignant tissue” said Hiroko Satake, MD, lead author of the study. Dr. Satake is from Nagoya University School of Medicine in Japan.

“In an analysis of 115 breast masses that were recommended for biopsy (they were categorized as either BI-RADS 4 or BI-RADS 5), ultrasound elastography was 79% accurate in identifying cancer,” Dr. Satake said.

“By accurately identifying benign tumors with imaging, we may be able to avoid sending patients for unnecessary biopsies,” Dr. Satake said. Ultrasound elastography provides radiologists with elasticity scores, with lower scores meaning that the mass contains softer tissue. “Based on the results of our study, we recommend that patients with BI-RADS 4 masses should undergo biopsy if their ultrasound elasticity score is 4 or 5,” Dr. Satake said.

source: ARRS