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Toshiba System Muffles MR Noise.

Research & Technology showcases the latest findings of research, as well as industry news and new product and materials development in the radiologic sciences. Health and research organizations and commercial interests should send information to Managing Editor Katie Racette, c/o The American Society of Radiologic Technologists, 15000 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123-3917.

Patients' comfort was a top priority in the design of Toshiba's new 1.5 tesla EXCELART[TM] MR system. Described as the industry's quietest MR system ever, it also has a short bore to help reduce patient claustrophobia.

EXCELART[TM] features Pianissimo[TM] (a musical term meaning "play very softly"), Toshiba's state-of-the-art noise reduction technology. Pianissimo[TM] uses special insulators to reduce acoustic noise from the vibration of the gradient coil. Noise is further reduced through a unique gradient vacuum vessel and independent ground support that shields against air vibration. Pianissimo[TM] reduces noise during MR examinations by as much as 90%.

To create a greater feeling of openness and reduce patient anxiety associated with being enclosed, the EXCELART[TM] also features a short-bore design with a 655-mm opening, the widest in the industry.

"Today, patients are becoming savvy consumers of health care. They research health care options, make informed choices and are often willing to shop around for a patient-focused experience," said Scott Eaton, director, MRI Business Unit, Toshiba America Medical Systems.

"Recognizing the impact of this growing consumerism on health care, Toshiba conducted extensive research to determine what elements of an MRI procedure were most distressing to patients. In addition to feelings of claustrophobia, the issue of gradient noise was identified," he continued. As MR scans have become faster and applications more sophisticated, exam noise has approached the level of a jet taking off, a Toshiba news release noted.

"EXCELART[TM] was built from the ground up to appeal to patient demands for comfortable, quiet exams," Mr. Eaton explained.

Lightweight X-ray Units Offer Ultimate Portability

MinXray recently rolled out a pair of mobile x-ray units that combine portability and power: the HF100H (84 lb) and HF80H+ (70.5 lb). (See Fig. 1.) Intended for use in nursing homes, clinics, correctional facilities and other settings where portability is a key consideration, these mobile units are capable of producing high-quality images of any part of the body, according to a MinXray news release.


Both units have full-wave rectified power supplies to maximize use of electrical input and minimize potential for harmful lower kV x-rays. The HF100H has an output of 20 mA at 40 to 100 kVDC; the HF80H+'s output is 15 mA at 50 to 80 kVDC. This translates to shorter exposure times than conventional units and less total radiation.

Automatic, dynamic line voltage compensation ensures repeatable results regardless of line variations. The units can be mounted on a wall or on an optional mobile stand. Both units come with a high-resolution timer, adjustable light beam collimators and a 3-year warranty.

Delivery System Eases Contrast Injection

A new multimodality contrast media delivery system from Mallinckrodt is ideal for cardiographic, angiographic and CT applications and easy to operate as well, a corporate news release announced. (See Fig. 2.)


The Liebel-Flarsheim Angiomat[R] ILLUMENA's[TM] features include:

* A pressure-sensitive screen and intuitive software.

* A unique fill-control bar that allows single-handed operation.

* A syringe that offers a clear view of the contrast medium.

* An optional air detection device that identifies empty syringes and air bolus.

* A console that rotates 140 [degrees] with an easily adjustable tilt angle.

* A powerhead extension arm that extends to 100 cm for easier patient access.

* Six powerhead mounting position options.

* Larger wheels for smooth maneuverability over cables and other obstructions.

* Securely locking wheels.

Mallinckrodt's Ultrajet[R] prefilled contrast media syringes are compatible with the system.

Philips Boosts Research and Equipment For Women's Interventional Procedures

Philips Medical Systems highlighted the successes of its Interventional Healthcare for Women program at the 12th annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) meeting in January. The program's aim is to promote research and advance products for the diagnosis and treatment of women's health problems, including uterine fibroids, spinal compression fractures and heart disease.

About 200 000 women in the United States have surgery each year because of uterine fibroids (benign tumors in the uterus). Symptoms of the condition include bladder pain, heavy menstrual periods and malaise due to blood loss. Incidence increases with age until menopause.

Ultrasound and MR are used to diagnose uterine fibroids. Hysterectomy has been the traditional treatment of choice.

A new, minimally invasive treatment option was presented at the ISET meeting. The procedure involves injecting embolic materials through catheters into uterine arteries, thus blocking the blood supply to the fibroids. Although recurrence of the fibroids is a possibility, uterine artery embolization reduces the number of hysterectomies that must be performed and reduces patients' hospital stays.

The procedure has been performed widely in the United States for about 2 years, and results have been "extremely encouraging" according to Robert J. Rosen, M.D., director of vascular and interventional radiology at New York University Medical Center. Most women experience complete resolution of their bleeding and pressure symptoms, Dr. Rosen said.

Philips Medical Systems cosponsored the first Uterine Fibroid Embolization Conference in Washington, D.C., last fall.

The company also is funding research into spinal compression fractures, another common health concern for women. The fractures often are linked to osteoporosis.

Once a painful and debilitating condition that left many patients in wheelchairs, spinal compression fractures now are being treated quickly and effectively with a new outpatient treatment called vertebroplasty.

Vertebroplasty involves injecting bone cement directly into the vertebrae, making the bones less porous. The procedure may take as little as 30 minutes and can substantially reduce patients' pain.

Philips plans to continue its support for vertebroplasty research. The company also reaffirmed its commitment to improving the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, which kills 1 woman in 2.

"Our goal is to reduce the number of major surgical procedures performed on female patients and to do what we can to offer as many treatment options as possible," said Willem Vuisting, global program management group director for Philips Medical Systems. "Early intervention and diagnosis are necessary components in our mission. Quality Philips products, dedicated personnel and extensive research studies are our tools."

Philips currently supplies more than half of all cardiac and vascular systems used worldwide, including the Gyroscan Intera CV, an MR system that quickly provides complete information about cardiac structure and function. Philips' line also includes the HDI3000cv and HDI5000cv ultrasound systems, offering state-of-the-art echocardiography technology.

Biliary Stent Combines Flexibility, Visibility

A new platinum alloy stent from AngioDynamics Inc offers a unique combination of flexibility and visibility under fluoroscopy and angiography. In addition, the alloy gives the stent high radial strength and antithrombogenic properties that help keep it patent. Because of its flexibility, the VISTAFLEX[TM] stent can be placed even in tortuous anatomy, the manufacturer reported.

VISTAFLEX[TM] is the only stent compatible with MR angiography (MRA). Other stents may create too much artifact to allow MRA evaluation, but VISTAFLEX[TM] produces only minimal artifact, according to a corporate news release.

The stent is offered in 24 configurations, including 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 mm diameters and 35 and 55 mm lengths. It was cleared for general sale by the FDA late last year and has been on the market since December.

AngioDynamics Inc is a subsidiary of E-Z-EM. The company estimates that the worldwide market for peripheral stents like the VISTAFLEX[TM] tops $2 billion annually.

Desktop MicroPACS Brings Filmless Imaging Capability to Any Setting

Electronic imaging and computed radiography are within reach of private radiology practices and small clinics with the iLuminator, a desktop device from Lumisys Inc that integrates image acquisition, display, telecommunications and archiving. (See Fig. 3.)


The iLuminator provides maximum functionality in minimum space by integrating the Lumisys ACR-2000 computed radiography system, a high-resolution display and complete DICOM archiving ability on a compact rolling cart. The device also supports Internet telecommunications, WAN and LAN networks and a variety of printers. Because of its size and portability, the iLuminator is ideal for offices, operating rooms, clinics and mobile environments. It is priced at less than $75000.

"With the introduction of the iLuminator, we're setting another benchmark, providing a completely integrated microPACS system at a very affordable price for smaller facilites and environments," said John Burgess, Lumisys' vice president of sales and marketing.

"The iLuminator is poised to make an enormous impact on medical imaging," he projected. "It will make PACS more widely available than ever before and can effectively replace the 70 000 film processors currently in use worldwide."

"The iLuminator makes electronic imaging simple and immediately available," added Phillip Berman, M.D., president and CEO of Lumisys. By integrating image display, PACS and Internet connectivity, "we are bundling products for the distributed medical delivery environment just like suites of word processors, spread sheets, databases and e-mail software were bundled for the desktop office environment."
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Author:Racette, Katie
Publication:Radiologic Technology
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2000
Next Article:Barium Enema Examination.

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