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HP debuts package for harmonic imaging

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Ultrasound vendor Hewlett-Packard has developed an upgrade packagefor its HP Sonos 2500 scanner that optimizes the system for harmonicimaging, an experimental technique based on the use of ultrasoundcontrast media. The Andover, MA, company will not sell

Ultrasound vendor Hewlett-Packard has developed an upgrade packagefor its HP Sonos 2500 scanner that optimizes the system for harmonicimaging, an experimental technique based on the use of ultrasoundcontrast media. The Andover, MA, company will not sell the newsystem to clinicians, but rather will lease it to pharmaceuticalcompanies for research purposes.

In harmonic imaging, researchers tune the ultrasound transducerto receive only echoes that are harmonics of the primary ultrasoundtransmission (SCAN 12/27/95). This can improve contrast detectionin certain cases.

The new scanner, HP Sonos 2500 LE, includes hardware and softwarethat allow the system to transmit at one frequency and receiveat another, according to Denis Bonaccolta, product manager. Pharmaceuticalcompanies developing harmonic applications for contrast agentsshould find the system useful, Bonaccolta said. These companieswould rather lease a scanner than buy one because they would haveno use for the unit once the research is completed.

In addition to harmonic imaging, Sonos 2500 LE includes softwarefor acoustic densitometry (AD), a method of quantitatively measuringgray-scale levels in ultrasound images. This should also proveuseful to pharmaceutical companies in assembling product approvalapplications to the Food and Drug Administration for their agents.

"The fact that we can give numbers with AD strengthens (thecompanies') presentations to the FDA, because they can give quantitativedata on contrast enhancement," Bonaccolta said.

In other news, HP debuted a new 3-D acquisition software packageat the American Society of Echocardiography last month. The package,also for HP's Sonos 2500 scanner, is designed to provide 3-D imagesof the cardiac chambers, the size of cardiac abnormalities, andsegmental wall motion. Images acquired by the scanner are transferredto a magneto-optical disk, and then to an off-line system for3-D reconstruction. HP will sell the acquisition package for $27,500.

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