"Native TEQ adds a new and much wanted dimension to echocardiography by taking away the subjectivity and operator dependence in image acquisition", stated Manni A. Vannan, MBBS, FACC, professor of medicine, associate chief of cardiology, University of California at Irvine, Orange, California. "The ability to place a transducer on the chest wall and have the machine give you an optimal picture immediately is a significant advance in ultrasound imaging. Additionally, the optimization is in real-time and independent of where you are scanning, and it has the potential to reduce sonographer repetitive stress injury due to less hand motion on the keyboard."
Siemens' Native TEQ technology enables the ultrasound system's computer to read the signals that are returning from the individual patient, and then automatically adjust the parameters while the operator is scanning, so all images are optimized in real-time and the sonographer or physician can scan freely without having to touch the keyboard. There are no gain or depth-gain-compensation (DGC) control adjustments needed while scanning. The computer is programmed to perform advanced real-time motion analysis in addition to accurately detecting and differentiating noise and artifacts from soft tissue. The image gain is automatically optimized in the axial and lateral dimensions in real-time, once the transducer touches the patient. The Native TEQ Dynamic Technology requires a 510(k) review and is not yet commercially available.
The company also showcased the new 8V3 transducer for the Sequoia system, which has been labeled the "workhorse" for paediatric cardiology because it provides excellent detail resolution, contrast resolution, near and far field image clarity, and colour and spectral Doppler sensitivity in one transducer. The new transducer is based on the company's proprietary Hanafy lens technology, providing continuous focusing and image uniformity, broader bandwidth and differentiation of near field structures with higher resolution.
"The 8V3 is the first probe that effectively provides high-quality imaging in a majority of paediatric patients, from neonates to adolescents", stated Peter C. Frommelt, M.D., FACC, associate professor of paediatric cardiology, Medical College of Wisconsin and director of paediatric echocardiography, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. "The colour Doppler sensitivity is excellent and can be very useful in identifying colour Doppler flow patterns in coronary arteries in children and adolescents, which has become an important part of the routine paediatric echo exam. The image detail is also excellent in infants and small children using the native frequencies, and the addition of five and six MHz harmonic imaging allows continued high-quality imaging and penetration in older children, adolescents and adults."
The company also demonstrated new advancements on the ACUSON CV70 cardiovascular system, such as fourSight transesophageal (TEE) view for integrated three-dimensional (3D) TEE imaging, and the new P9-4 transducer for paediatric cardiac imaging. Through advanced technology migration from the Sequoia system, 3D TEE imaging is now available with the CV70, enabling easier access to 3D/4D images through simple acquisition, review, manipulation and dynamic display capabilities of gated 3D datasets using the V5Ms TEE transducer. For TEE imaging, 3D surface or multiplanar reconstruction can provide physicians a more detailed, anatomical display of the heart and clinical disease processes, and with the V5Ms TEE transducer, physicians will have easier access to high quality 3D images.
With the addition of the new P9-4 transducer for paediatric imaging, the CV70 cardiovascular system now supports extensive transducer capabilities, enabling clinicians to conduct a wide range of cardiovascular studies including stress echo, adult, pediatric and fetal echocardiograms, and epi-aortic imaging.
The company also displayed its new ACUSON AcuNav 8F ultrasound catheter for visualization of vascular and cardiac anatomy and physiology, measurement of blood flow, and visualization of other devices throughout the entire heart. The AcuNav 8F catheter is 33 percent smaller in the cross sectional area than the existing AcuNav 10F catheter, enabling improved access during closure of atrial septal defects (ASD) on smaller patients, and left heart applications for both interventional cardiology and electrophysiology. The P9-4 and 8V3 transducers, and the AcuNav 8F ultrasound catheter are not yet commercially available.
Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG with headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania and Erlangen, Germany, is one of the largest suppliers to the health care industry in the world. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, health care information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. Employing approximately 31.000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7,4 billion euro, orders of 7,8 billion euro and group profit of 1,1 billion euro for fiscal 2003.