Small tears in the Achilles tendon can be accurately diagnosed with an incredible level of precision via ultrasound images provided by a lower-priced mobile system. It sounds hard to believe but Dr. Tom Winter, who is involved in research as M.D. in the Department of Radiology at the University of Washington, has put the Siemens Sonoline Sienna platform clinically to the test, together with lots of other colleagues. The participating physicians achieved some outstanding results. The innovative and versatile device integrates colour flow and high-frequency imaging technology at an affordable cost, ranging from $60.000 to $80.000. Siemens has made the system available for immediate delivery.
In many regional hospitals today, clinicians still have to rely on black-and-white systems for current examinations, like tumour detection and biopsies. The new Sonoline Sienna system allows to optimize the overall productivity while offering an exceptional image quality at the same time. The mobile unit can be applied in various medical specialities, ranging from typical and delicate ultrasound areas, such as obstetrics and infertility, to rather traditional domains, such as general imaging and radiology, as stated by Markus Kirchgeorg, vice president of marketing for Siemens Ultrasound Group.
The platform is also used for detailed imaging of the paediatric abdomen and hip, for breast examination, for musculo-skeletal and thyroid viewing as well as in sports and internal medicine and in urology. The stellar colour flow systems facilitate the diagnosis of malignant or benign tumours, because the complex pattern of blood vessels around the body masses is clearly being displayed, according to Dr. Winter. The Sonoline Sienna unit incorporates all technical innovations that initially were designed for its predecessors, the Sonoline Elegra and Versa Plus platforms. The most recent product in the Sonoline family thus couples high resolution imaging with extreme mobility.
The system consists of four active transducer ports, allowing the clinician to have four high-frequency 12 megahertz transducers immediately available for examination at one touch of the key. In addition, the unit also features leading-edge technology in digital beamformer as well as signal processing design to guarantee spatial and contrast resolution. Even if the physician has to deal with patients who are difficult to scan, Transparent Energy Mode offers angle independent power Doppler capabilities for an excellent colour flow image quality. Next to colour Doppler, the platform even includes B-mode and Pulsed Wave Doppler.
The control panel enables the user to introduce QuickSets in order to swiftly configure the unit to his own preferences. Each examination requires only a limited number of keystrokes. The integration of advanced microprocessor technology, which is based on application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) has substantially reduced the amount of hardware modules. As a result, the Sonoline Sienna has turned into a light-weight, compact system resting on a small footprint, which is easy to transport between the various departments of the hospital.