Toshiba extends ultrasound reach in breast imaging

December 2, 2008
Greg Freiherr

Toshiba America Medical Systems has positioned its MicroPure ultrasound technology as a way to better characterize microcalcifications. The new technology, showcased at RSNA 2008 on Toshiba’s Aplio XG ultrasound scanner, improves the detection of small calcifications that otherwise may evade detection with ultrasound.

Toshiba America Medical Systems has positioned its MicroPure ultrasound technology as a way to better characterize microcalcifications. The new technology, showcased at RSNA 2008 on Toshiba's Aplio XG ultrasound scanner, improves the detection of small calcifications that otherwise may evade detection with ultrasound.

The company also presented its work-in-progress ElastoQ, which displays differences in the relative elasticity of tumor and surrounding tissue by assigning colors to a tomographic image or, alternatively, as a graph. When using ElastoQ, tissue is examined while it is slightly compressed and then when it is decompressed. Cancerous tissue tends to have a significantly lower elasticity than healthy tissue. Like MicroPure, ElastoQ runs on the Toshiba Aplio XG.

Accompanying these advances is the company's new 18-MHz high-resolution Dynamic Micro Slice transducer for breast imaging.

The company is positioning its proprietary version of elastography as a possible future means to assess tumors, while framing MicroPure as a complementary way to detect small calcifications. Although ElastoQ is not yet cleared by the FDA, MicroPure has passed FDA review.

MicroPure has not yet been clinically validated, however, which is why the company is showing only early results from its clinical collaborators, leaving claims to a later date.