Acuson upgrade spans applications

June 19, 1991

The fact that Acuson brought to market a wide-ranging upgradeof its 128XP system 10 months after introducing the technology(SCAN 5/22/91) is a credit to the flexible XP technology, saidWilliam C. Varley, vice president of marketing. "When we

The fact that Acuson brought to market a wide-ranging upgradeof its 128XP system 10 months after introducing the technology(SCAN 5/22/91) is a credit to the flexible XP technology, saidWilliam C. Varley, vice president of marketing.

"When we introduced the XP in July (of last year), wesaid it was a platform for the future. It provided new image-formationand transducer technology. XP Xcelerator is the first installmenton that platform," he said.

The Xcelerator upgrade impacts all types of XP transducers--includingphased-array, curved-array and linear--over a broad range of applications,Varley said.

Studies within the last year indicate that clinical applicationsperformed in U.S. radiology departments are:

  • abdominal (36%);
  • ob/gyn (40%);
  • vascular (5%);
  • small parts (9%); and
  • cardiac (4%).

The purpose of the Xcelerator package is to increase the 128XP system's capabilities in the applications most often performedby radiologists, Varley said.

The C366 curved-array is a new probe that boosts the XP's capabilitiesin abdominal imaging. This transducer has a larger footprint (66mm) than the 544 probe (44 mm) and combines multihertz imagingwith the curved array.

Multihertz scanning gives the ultrasonographer the abilityto scan at a higher frequency transmission to obtain better diagnosticinformation, but to switch to a lower frequency if needed forpenetration (see previous story).

A large portion of ultrasound patients fall into the hard-to-imagecategory either because they are obese or very large, have denseorgans such as a cirrhotic liver, or are bandaged and suturedin a way that limits transducer access, said Clay Larsen, radiologymarketing manager.

The Xcelerator upgrade also includes a new 5-MHz L582 largelinear probe with multihertz scanning for obstetrical imaging.

"There are access problems in radiology, where you needa small footprint transducer. There are also areas where a curvedor medium-footprint probe will allow you the best field-of-view.In obstetrics and other applications, a linear (transducer) maybe better suited for vascular work," Varley said.

Two cardiology transducers on the XP Xcelerator system werealso given vector-array upgrades that enable better imaging offour-chamber views, he said.

Acuson converted its existing endorectal transducers from sector-to vector-array without switching probes. Changes in the ultrasoundimage formation process within the system computer alter the waythe ultrasound beam is transmitted and received. The vector-arraytechnology permits a wider field of view from a small-footprinttransducer, Larsen said.

"The wider field of view (with a vector array) is significantwhen you are working in tight areas. You are able to see the entiregland," he said.