Siemens to enhance SONOLINE Elegra ultrasound platform with astonishing 3D visualisation features

Issaquah 06 March 2000Siemens Medical Systems Inc., Ultrasound Group has introduced significant enhancements to the 3-Scape Real Time 3D Imaging capabilities on the SONOLINE Elegra ultrasound platform. In this regard, the software upgrade 5.0 includes Photopic Ultrasound Imaging and SieFlow Imaging, innovative visualisation methods which will increase clinicians' diagnostic confidence in a wide variety of scanning applications.

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Siemens' new 3D package integrates a set of advanced rendering tools designed to significantly increase the clinical utility of 3D ultrasound in routine daily practice. Through the use of an extremely flexible electronic scalpel, undesired data can be peeled away simply and efficiently. The new surface can then be rendered to show unique clinical information or foetal anatomy and other organs throughout the body.

Another novel 3D rendering tool called Minimum Intensity Projection, allows clinicians to much more clearly demonstrate the vasculature of the liver and extremities, or cystic structures such as those found in the breast. Siemens has equally added a new "bookmarking" function which makes it incredibly easy to retrieve, edit, as well as manipulate 3-Scape volumes. The feature, which is unique to the SONOLINE Elegra, operates in the same way as a web user would mark and save the location of a favourite web site found on the World Wide Web.

Clinicians at present can save or bookmark the location of an edited volume and retrieve it later to apply additional rendering to get an optimal image for diagnosis. Siemens is the only company to offer a comprehensive integrated 3D package on a premium system which already provides a superior image quality and the widest variety of transducers supporting 3D applications.

Additionally, the Elegra's performance is enhanced by a new CX5-2 Multi-D Array transducer. The lightweight transducer enhances image detail and clarity over a much larger focal zone than conventional transducers designed for a single focal zone. The CX5-2's primary application is high-resolution, deep abdominal and obstetrical imaging. Superior near and far-field spatial resolution and uniform slice thickness enables clinicians to more accurately characterise small lesions throughout the entire field of view. In addition to 3D, the CX5-2 transducer also supports Siemens Ensemble Tissue Harmonic Imaging (THI) and Ensemble Contrast Imaging (ECI).

"The Multi-D Array technology provides excellent image quality and the uniform slice thickness is a great advantage during abdominal scans", said Peter Cooperberg, MD, Professor of Radiology at the University of British Columbia and Chief of the Radiology Department at Saint Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. Professor Cooperberg added that the smaller, lightweight package, including a smaller cable, is also nice.

Siemens Photopic Ultrasound Imaging in turn improves standard grey scale ultrasound imaging by capitalising on the way humans see and recognise structures. Although the eye is able to appreciate even minor differences in millions of colours, it has a harder time distinguishing between the different shades of grey. Using a sophisticated image-enhancement algorithm and by operating in real time, Photopic Ultrasound recognises the histogram or the acoustic fingerprint of a standard, grey scale ultrasound image.

Frame by frame, the image is balanced and translated into a colour-enriched image, that is optimised for bright light viewing conditions, like in a normal examination room. In a recent 220-case clinical study, Photopic Ultrasound aided diagnosis in 44 percent of all ultrasound examinations and improved analysis of vascular examinations in 77 percent of all cases.

Allowing direct visualisation of flow in B-Mode, SieFlow Imaging disposes of the potential to be superior to Colour and Power mode in some applications. SieFlow is particularly useful in diagnosis of soft plaques. In cerebrovascular disease studies, SieFlow Imaging provides a clearer demonstration of vessel anatomy and blood flow. The ability to simultaneously evaluate these two dynamics can significantly increase patient through put.

Introduced in 1996, the SONOLINE Elegra was the first high-end imaging system with a fully programmable supercomputer, the Crescendo Multi-Dimensional Image Processor integrated within the ultrasound platform. "This innovation has allowed us to continually build new advanced ultrasound programmes, based on software instead of hardware, which allow for faster, easier and more comprehensive examinations", stated Heike Seck, product manager for the SONOLINE Elegra. "Our image quality is already superior and the innovative rendering and editing tools represent only the latest in a long progression of novel technologies which make the SONOLINE Elegra one of the most reliable and versatile premium systems in the world", he added.

Based in Issaquah, Washington, Siemens Ultrasound has the second largest installed base of ultrasound systems in the world. It part of the Siemens Medical Engineering Group, one of the largest and most diversified suppliers in health care equipment. The company provides solutions across a wide range of clinical environments including radiology, cardiology, neurology, women's health and oncology. In addition to developing and manufacturing medical device equipment, the company equally provides cost-out consulting services and information technology solutions. Reporting an annual sales of more than $4 billion, the Medical Engineering Group employs approximately 19.000 employees worldwide.


Leslie Versweyveld

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