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ATL adds Doppler enhancement to HDI

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ATL of Bothell, WA, last month introduced Doppler power imaging,an enhancement to its Ultramark 9 high-definition imaging (HDI)scanner that allows clinicians to visualize flow in small vessels.Doppler power imaging gives clinicians real-time color

ATL of Bothell, WA, last month introduced Doppler power imaging,an enhancement to its Ultramark 9 high-definition imaging (HDI)scanner that allows clinicians to visualize flow in small vessels.Doppler power imaging gives clinicians real-time color displayof blood flow in the vascular beds of certain tissues. Potentialapplications include evaluation of native and transplanted kidneys,tumors and testicular and ovarian tissue.

The vendor will begin shipping Doppler power imaging on HDIsystems this fall at no additional charge to customers. This featurewill be made available for all existing HDI systems in January.

In other ATL news, the vendor is sponsoring a study at 10 clinicalsites in the U.S., Canada and Europe to determine the effectivenessof ultrasound in characterizing breast tumors.

In the study, clinicians are evaluating whether sonographersusing HDI scanners can differentiate malignant from nonmalignantbreast lesions. HDI's ability to image a small tumor's structuralcharacteristics and vascularity could help physicians determinewhether an abnormality is malignant, according to the company.

If the study proves successful, ultrasound could in some casesreplace a surgical procedure with an ultrasound examination. ATL'sgoal is to eliminate one-third of surgical breast biopsies, accordingto the company.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • The ultrasound market continues to sag. Both Acuson andDiasonics reported drops in revenue last week. Acuson's declinewas the sharpest, from $84.5 million in sales during the thirdquarter of 1992 (end-September) to $67 million in the same periodthis year. Acuson's third quarter net income dropped from $7 millionlast year to $2.3 million in 1993.

Diasonics Ultrasound, now an independent, single-modality company,saw revenue drop from $50.3 million in the third quarter of 1992to $46.2 million in the same period of this year. The ultrasoundvendor continues to lose money, but at a significantly lower rate.Diasonics lost $1.9 million in the third quarter of this year,compared to $4.4 million in the same period of 1992.

"Given the ongoing weakness of the ultrasound market,we are pleased that we have been able to maintain revenue levelsduring 1993," said Diasonics Ultrasound CFO Shawn O'Connor.

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