Ultrasound vendors refine image acquisition techniques

November 26, 2003

RSNA exhibits will host a range of new productsThe competition among single-modality vendors is over, but the pace of development remains strong, as exemplified by many new products that will be shown at the RSNA meeting next

RSNA exhibits will host a range of new products

The competition among single-modality vendors is over, but the pace of development remains strong, as exemplified by many new products that will be shown at the RSNA meeting next week.

GE Medical Systems (South Hall 4100) will unveil Imagine Breakthrough, which includes several features for enhancing image quality. Among them is crossbeam technology, a spatial compounding technique that improves contrast and border resolution, and speckle reduction imaging, which sharpens contrast resolution by attacking speckle artifact.

GE is introducing the Diamond Breakthrough to the Voluson 730 Expert women's healthcare ultrasound product line. The new scanner includes DiagnoSTIC (spatial temporal image correlation) technology that adds color Doppler to volume analysis of the fetal heart.

Siemens (South Hall 1740) is adding the Paragon to its ultrapremium Sequoia ultrasound system. The Paragon release expands tissue equalization (TEQ), introduced last year for 2D imaging, to spectral Doppler acquisition. By adjusting gain level, filters, and pulse repetition frequency, TEQ reduces the number of optimization steps taken on the user interface by about 95%, said Bill Carrano, vice president of worldwide marketing for the Siemens Medical Solutions ultrasound division.

SpatialCompoundingPlus is also part of the Paragon release. It uses beam steering to capture multiple lines of sight and to compound an image, improving contrast resolution and reducing speckle. Tissue contrast enhancement, another new feature, refines tissue texture differentiation and contrast resolution for 2D imaging.

Hitachi Medical Systems America (North Hall 7733) will unveil HI Vision 8500 for the U.S. market. The system, available in Canada, is Hitachi's flagship ultrasound product. Its main feature is the Sono MR imaging suite, a collection of image acquisition and processing elements, including HI compound imaging, which acquires multiple views in the same field-of-view and compounds them in real-time so artifact in one view is minimized and the signal emanating from anatomy is reinforced.

HI Vision 8500 also offers Hi Res, an adaptive, real-time image processing tool for reducing noise and speckle. It provides several modes of tissue harmonic imaging, two of which use wideband pulse inversion to heighten resolution, while another intensifies tissue penetration.