ACC’s 49th Annual Scientific Session shows cardiology means business

March 29, 2000

The American College of Cardiology’s 49th Annual Scientific Session, held March 12–15 in Anaheim, CA, was one of the largest in the organization’s history, with more than 32,000 cardiologists, nurses, paramedics, and students attending and

The American College of Cardiology’s 49th Annual Scientific Session, held March 12–15 in Anaheim, CA, was one of the largest in the organization’s history, with more than 32,000 cardiologists, nurses, paramedics, and students attending and 378 scheduled exhibitors from dozens of countries around the world. There were more than 2100 research and clinical presentations of advances in the management of cardiovascular disease. Presenters came from 34 countries, with 94 countries represented overall.

For the diagnostic imaging industry, it means cardiology has become big business, as CT, MR, and ultrasound technologies keep expanding into cardiac and peripheral vascular imaging. Some of the highlights:

Toshiba America Medical Systems of Tustin, CA, exhibited its VScore coronary artery calcium scoring for the company’s Aquilion and Asteion CT systems. This software allows physicians to use helical CT images to quantify calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. Tobshiba also displayed its PowerVision 8000 ultrasound system for cardiac applications.

Siemens Medical Systems of Iselin, NJ, showed its Magnetom Sonata dedicated cardiovascular MR system, a 1.5-tesla, 1.6-meter, short-magnet scanner with a 60-cm-wide patient space. Siemens also showed its Acom.Web multimodality image distribution network, which allows display of cardiology and radiology images from the Internet on an ordinary PC.

Mobile P.E.T. Systems of San Diego exhibited the first mobile cardiac PET system (see related story, page 1).

Cedara Software of Toronto showed Web-enabled cardiology viewing software. The company announced it is collaborating with the University of California, Los Angeles, on the design and implementation of a cardiology imaging workstation for viewing and integrating images from multiple modalities, such as angiography, ultrasound, and MR.

Philips Medical Systems of Best, the Netherlands showed a version of its Gyroscan Intera CV that is dedicated to cardiovascular imaging modalities. The company claims that software for the Intera CV solves one of the biggest problems with cardiac MR—the effect of the magnet on reliable cardiac gating—by separating the true ECG from the distortion caused by the magnetic field and RF effects, raising triggering accuracy to nearly 100%, even on irregular heart rhythms and unusual ECGs.

SonoSite of Bothell, WA, featured its new SonoHeart digital echocardiography system, which allows physicians to augment routine auscultation by performing echocardiography during a bedside exam. The handheld portable device weighs 5.4 pounds.

Web sites debutThe official ACC site, Cardiosource.com, was one of three cardiology-related Web sites that debuted at the meeting. The ACC site, developed with Elsevier Science Publishing, is called CardioSource. It offers full-text access to such cardiovascular journals as the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the ACC’s Current Journal Review. The site also gives access to more than 600 cardiovascular trials.

Mallinckrodt, in cooperation with Conceptis Technologies, showed its Internet site, theheart.org. Real-time, interactive, multimedia medical conferences provide physicians with the latest cardiovascular research, according to the company.

GE Medical Systems’ new online resource, CardioIQ.com, offers information for physicians, nurses, technologists, and administrators to improve their knowledge of trends in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. It will feature healthcare forums, downloadable productivity enhancement tools, and links to cardiology-related educational events, news, and technology.

Next year’s ACC meeting will be in Orlando, FL.