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Toshiba gets harmonic imaging nod

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The ultrasound division of Toshiba America Medical Systems in Tustin, CA, has received 510(k) clearance for two harmonic imaging options for its PowerVision 7000 scanner. The clearance includes both tissue harmonic and contrast harmonic options,

The ultrasound division of Toshiba America Medical Systems in Tustin, CA, has received 510(k) clearance for two harmonic imaging options for its PowerVision 7000 scanner. The clearance includes both tissue harmonic and contrast harmonic options, according to Ross Heaton, director of ultrasound marketing.

Like tissue harmonic packages from other companies, Toshiba's offering enables users to reduce noise in ultrasound scans by imaging only returning echoes at frequencies that are harmonic multiples of the original ultrasound transmission. The company's contrast harmonic package, however, is substantially different from contrast packages from other vendors.

Called Flash Echo Imaging, the option delivers sound waves in pulses that reduce the acoustic energy of the ultrasound beam below the intensity at which contrast microbubbles burst. The technique preserves contrast agent microbubbles, allowing new bubbles to enter the scan plane before the next sequence, thus improving image quality.

Toshiba began shipping the options on PowerVision 7000 this month. The tissue harmonic and Flash Echo Imaging options carry a list price of $10,000 each, or are available as a package for $15,000. Toshiba also plans to submit the options for clearance on the company's PowerVision 6000 scanner, which was introduced in May (SCAN 5/27/98).

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