Cardiac Imaging News

EUROECHO 2010 Congress Gathers Top Echocardiography And Ultrasound …

The European Association of Echocardiography expects to welcome more than 3,000 international delegates to its annual EUROECHO Congress to be held this year in Copenhagen between 8 and 11 December 2010. This event is very important for specialists using ultrasound techniques for the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. A full program of almost 200 scientific and poster presentations is planned over the four days, along with education and training streams covering new ... Read more

High Radiation Equivalent To Repeated Cardiac Imaging, …

According to a retrospective, single-center study,about 40% of patients who wre subjected to myocardial perfusion imaging had repeated exams and were exposed to high doses of radiation. Andrew Einstein, MD, PhD, of Columbia University Medical ... Read more

Beaumont Hospital Opened Ernst Cardiovascular Care …

Beaumont Hospitals, based in Royal Oak, has expanded its services for cardiovascular patients by opening the new Ernst Cardiovascular Center in Oct. 18. Specialty clinics in the new Ernst Cardiovascular Center will offer innovative and minimally invasive therapeutic techniques for heart valve disease, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, complex aortic disease as well as preventive screening measures. Furthermore, clinicians in the clinics are going to perform breakthrough surgeries and treatments for patients with high-risk heart and vascular diseases. The center is also the stronghold for Beaumont's innovative “7 tests for $70” heart and vascular screening and the “Healthy Heart Check” student heart screening program, as declared in a press release. The center provides expedited, multidisciplinary care. A professional team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons, anesthesiologists and other experts evaluates the patient condition and recommends the best medical or surgical treatment. The center was established because of $3 million donation from Max and Debra Ernst of Orchard Lake and their family in memory of Ellen Ernst, Max Ernst's late first wife. Marc Sakwa M.D., chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Beaumont, Royal Oak, said: “Thanks to the generosity of Max and Debra Ernst and their family, we have been able to create a beautiful center that brings together all the heart and vascular experts from Beaumont with the latest technology and research to deliver the best possible patient care and outcomes. This is a dream come true. We are very grateful to the Ernst family for their tremendous gift, which will benefit our patients and community for many years to ... Read more


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The new ultrasound system, The ACUSON S2000, from Siemens, is considered one of the latest workflow-improving clinical applications, innovative ergonomic design and most recent creative technology. Meeting the needs of the entire continuum of care from diagnosis to screening to therapy, the 2.0 release of ACUSON S2000 ultrasound system, includes characteristics that provide advanced applications for cardiac imaging.The new features added in the 2.0 release of the ACUSON S2000 enhance diagnostic decision making and improve workflow efficiency with many advanced applications. Dynamic TCE™ tissue contrast improvement technology is an innovative new algorithm that offers advanced speckle decrease and improved contrast resolution for more useful images. It is now available on all phased array transducers.The new device is ready to operate intracardic echocardiology (ICE) with the ACUSON AcuNav™ ultrasound catheter. Live Dual display functionally can view simultaneous of B-mode and color Doppler images with the push of one button, stopping the need for extra keystrokes and enhancing the workflow effectiveness. Extended eSieScan™ workflow protocols provide more features when carrying out exams. Anatomical M-mode corrects off-axis alignment to transfer anatomically significant M-mode imaging to support diagnostic making decision.The workflow improvements and the advanced imaging abilities enable the 2.0 release of the ACUSON S2000 system to work as a complete 2D cardiology solution for shared service organizations and cardiology ... Read more

CT Can Predict Future Cardiovascular Disease, Study.…

According to a new study, Computed Tomography (CT) scans can be used for predicting cardiovascular diseases in individuals with high risk. The findings of the study are highlighted online and will be published in the November issue of Radiology. Martijn J. A. Gondrie, M.D., from the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and the lead author of the study, said "The results of this study show that radiologists can predict cardiovascular disease fairly well using incidental findings of calcifications of the aortic wall on CT, along with minimal patient information, such as age, gender and the reason for the CT. Ultimately, this easily executed extra risk stratification has the potential to reduce future heart attacks or other cardiovascular events." There has been significant increase in the use of chest CT scans though the last ten years. The details of CT images also improved thanks to the use of modern image-processing technologies. As a result to such improvements, a lot of incidental findings are appearing during CT scans, which include unexpectedly imaging characteristics that are not related to original clinical purpose of the CT.  The study conducted by Dr. Gondrie represented a part of the Prognostic Value of Ancillary Information in Diagnostic Imaging (PROVIDI) project, which is aiming to study the significance of the unexpectedly detected imaging findings on CT scans of the chest. Dr. Gondrie explained "This is the first study to investigate whether incidental findings can predict future disease in a routine care setting. Incidental findings are obtained without additional radiation exposure or cost to the patient and may hold valuable clues as to the patient's overall health and their risk for future disease. It generates the much-needed insights that allow more effective utilization of the increasing amount of diagnostic information, and it could potentially change the way radiologists contribute to the efficiency of daily patient care." Chest CT and Cardiovascular disease prediction. During his study, Dr. Gondrie and his team designed cardiovascular disease prediction models using incidental aortic findings detected on chest CT scans. The study involved 6,975 patients who had chest CT scan for non-cardiovascular purposes. A sample of 817 patients, in addition to 347 patients who had a cardiovascular event throughout a follow-up period of 17 months in average, were included in the study. Research team made scores for incidental aortic abnormalities detected on the CT scans, such abnormalities included plaques, calcifications and other defects. Other factors were put in consideration such as the age of patients, their gender and CT scans indications. The prediction model was used to determine the finding that is highly indicating future cardiovascular diseases, which was found to be aortic ... Read more

Siemens Awarded 2010 Techno-College Innovation Award …

Siemens Healthcare has been awarded, for the first time, Techno-College Innovation Award for 2010 from The European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) due to its highly efficient design of the syngo Aortic ValveGuide software. The ... Read more

ReCor Announces Successful First-In-Human Trial To …

ReCor Medical, ultrasound heart valve therapy company, is proud to announce that it has successfully accomplished the first-in-human procedure using its ultrasound therapy to treat mitral regurgitation (MR).  Full details about the study will be presented today at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific meeting in Washington, D.C. Successful MR reduction from 3+ to 1+ Prof. Dr. med Karl-Heinz Kuck, Hamburg, Germany, had conducted the procedure on  a 79-year-old male with severe MR (3+). The procedure highlights: femoral-vein access; 3D/2D echocardiogram; less than 90 minutes. The procedure was proved to be safe and effective with MR reduction to 1+. Mano Iyer, founder and CEO of ReCor Medical, said: "Our ultrasound therapy is a whole new modality for treating MR." He explained the procedure: "Ultrasound creates heat. Heat shrinks collagen. Shrinkage reduces the mitral valve annulus, and annular reduction reduces MR. Our clinical value proposition is very attractive as our treatment has no implant. Also, our platform is designed to immediately and significantly reduce MR within a very short procedure time. Additionally, use of our system does not restrict a patient from other treatments." Prof. Kuck said: "The device was extremely easy to use and the fact that you do not implant anything makes this a breakthrough in mitral valve repair." Professor Jacques Séguin, M.D., Ph.D., founder and former Chairman/CEO of CoreValve and Chairman of ReCor, said: "As a cardiac surgeon, I believe this is an historic moment, as this represents the first time ever that a patient has been treated without leaving anything behind."  He further added: "We also see an application for Tricuspid Regurgitation, which means we can truly revolutionize the treatment of cardiac valve ... Read more

Medical Radiation Effects Discussed At TCT Meeting.…

According to a recent presentation, 15% of radiation exposure in the United States takes place during cardiac imaging procedures, especially during coronary CT angiography (CCTA). The presentation was highlighted during the 2010 annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting, which was held recently. Andrew J. Einstein, MD, from Columbia University Medical Center, New York, said "We don't want to overlook the fact that the biggest clinical significance of radiation exposure is the benefits. Ultimately, this exposure to ionizing radiation can improve patient and societal outcomes." He noted that the effects of radiation exposure are divided into two types, deterministic or stochastic. He explained that deterministic effects include killing cells by radiation, such as radiation sickness and skin burns. On the other hand, stochastic effects include cells mutation as a result to radiation exposure. Dr. Einstein said "Deterministic effects occur only above the threshold dose, which typically is going to be high, and only after a large proportion of cells have been killed by radiation—which varies from individual to individual," Meanwhile, stochastic effects do not depend on high radiation doses, such effects can cause cancers after longer times up to 5 to 10 years. Dr. Einstein continued "What are the typical effective doses of cardiac studies using traditional protocols and how do we know that patients are not at risk of developing cancer downstream?" Dr. Einstein said that cardiac imaging procedures vary in their effective doses according to several factors such as equipment, technicians’ experience, and the used technique. Currently, a diagnostic cardiac catheter involves delivering radiation of 7 mSv, CCTA procedures were usually including 15 mSv to 20 mSv few years ago. With the recent equipment, some cardiac imaging procedures will be carried out with less than 5 mSv. During the presentation, Dr. Einstein said that the effects of radiation exposure were evaluated on individuals who survived the atomic bomb attacks in Japan during World War II. However, he added that further large-scale studies are still needed to determine the effects of medical radiation exposure. He explained "Even though we need better epidemiological data, we think these low radiation doses [in cardiac imaging] can be related to developing an increased risk of malignancy. If these procedures were only used infrequently, there wouldn't be a potential public health ... Read more

Adverse Cardiac Events Not Expected With Negative CTA …

According to a new study, patients suffering from chest pain who are showing negative cardiac computed tomography angiogram (CTA) will not develop adverse cardiac events for a year following their discharge from hospitals. Cardiac CTA represents a non-invasive imaging procedure that is used to detect the presence of calcium or fatty deposits in coronary vessels that provide blood to the cardiac muscles. The study took place at the University of  Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, WA. The study involved 70 patients who had negative cardiac CTA results. The participating patients were asked about having adverse cardiac events, diagnostic examinations, or cardiac treatments after 3, 6, and 12 months following the CTA tests. William P. Shuman, MD, the lead author of the study, said "No patient reported any sign, symptom, finding or subsequent diagnosis suggestive of an adverse cardiac event, nor was there any such suggestion in the electronic medical record. For earlier discharge based, in part, on negative cardiac CTA results to be clinically efficacious, it must be a safe practice with few subsequent adverse cardiac events," Dr. Shuman concluded "Our study shows that for patients with low-to-moderate risk chest pain evaluated in the emergency department, adverse cardiac events may be rare during the year after a negative cardiac CTA scan," The study showed that early discharge of patients with both low and moderate risk for cardiac adverse events, following negative CTA results, would reduce the costs and time for emergency departments. Moreover, discharging such patients will decrease the load on these departments allowing them to provide improved ... Read more

Siemens And Monaco Partners For The First …

Siemens Healthcare has entered an agreement with the Cardio Thoracic Centre of Monaco (CCM) to develop innovative solutions for diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. This agreement makes the Centre as the first Siemens’ European Reference Centre for Cardiovascular Medicine, which will serve as an international training centre for different visitors that demonstrates optimized clinical workflows and multi-modality imaging. The centre and Siemens have worked collaboratively for more than 25 years to develop medical technologies that aid in the diagnosis of patients all over the world. Siemens and Monaco to promote cardiovascular technologies. Professor Vincent Dor, chief executive of Cardio-Thoracic Centre said, “To be nominated Siemens’ European Reference Centre is not only an honor for us, it also allows us to advance the findings of our years of effort, that is in the diagnosis and therapy for cardiovascular disease and move on to new, extraordinary paths.” The initial joint projects between the company and the centre will give much attention to clinical systems that address individual disease patterns that include the entire workflow and finally the results will be integrated into Siemens’ future technological innovations. Tom Miller, chief executive of the customer solutions division at Siemens Healthcare, said, “The outstanding ranking CCM holds in the field of cardiovascular diseases is further emphasized by naming CCM a “Siemens European Reference Centre Cardiovascular Medicine.” He added, “The effective diagnostic and therapeutic process using imaging technologies and incorporating them into efficient processes plays a central role. Siemens has been successfully supporting CCM for more than 25 years with the company’s systems and ... Read more

MRI Offers New Option For Surveillance Of Great Vessel …

According to a new study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used alone effectively for conducting routine surveillance of some great vessel stents, such as vena cavae and aorta, which are frequently used for treating congenital cardiac defects.  The study took place at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London. Its results will be highlighted in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. MRI is one of the most significant medical imaging techniques, as it offers highly-detailed images in a non-invasive and radiation-free procedure. MRI, CT, and angiography. Andrew M. Taylor, MD, lead author of the study, said, "Computed tomography (CT) is regarded as the best method for follow-up of endovascular stents. However, there are concerns regarding the long-term health effects of ionizing radiation exposure. Conventional angiography can be used to image stents; however, it is not suitable for routine surveillance because of the invasive nature of the procedure." During the study, three great vessel stent materials, platinum-iridium, stainless steel, in addition to nitinol, were inserted in an aorta model. CT, ten different MRI sequences, and angiography were used to image that model. Dr. Taylor said, "Study results showed that the diagnostic accuracy of conventional angiography and CT was high for all stents and MRI visualization of the stent depended on the type of stent and the sequence used. MRI does not use radiation; however, because of artifacts, it has traditionally been thought of as an unreliable method of assessing stents." He added, "Our findings suggest that certain (MRI) sequences are accurate methods of assessing stent stenosis. This would allow more frequent assessment of stents at lower risk to patients and represent a significant change in clinical ... Read more


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Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a global leading company providing medical imaging systems, announced that seven abstracts for studies discussing two of the company’s cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agents are going to be highlighted at the 15th Annual Scientific Session of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC2010). The event will take place from the 23th to the 26th of September in Philadelphia. The abstracts are discussing the preliminary results of two currently conducted studies. New PET Cardiac Imaging Agents. The first one is a single site Phase 2 study on flurpiridaz F 18, also known as BMS747158, which is providing a new option as a myocardial perfusion PET imaging agent, still under development, which could be used in diagnosing coronary artery diseases. The preliminary findings of the study will be discussed in a presentation titled "Preliminary results of absolute quantification of rest and stress myocardial blood flow with flurpiridaz F 18 PET in normal and coronary artery disease patients in a single-center study.” The second study is a Phase 1 data on LMI 1195, which is an innovative cardiac neuronal PET imaging agent. Don Kiepert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., commented, “Lantheus is pleased that seven abstracts will be presented at ASNC2010 highlighting important data on our cardiovascular imaging pipeline candidates.These data continue to support the potential of PET technology for the diagnosis and evaluation of coronary artery disease and heart failure. We believe that next generation medical imaging tools like flurpiridaz F 18 and LMI 1195 can ultimately provide physicians with improved non-invasive and cost-effective options to evaluate and help manage cardiovascular ... Read more

Cardiac Imaging Breakthrough To Visualize Myocardial …

A new imaging technique will be available soon for use by cardiologists and surgeons that serves to improve outcomes for patients requiring pacemakers, bypass surgery or angioplasties. The new imaging tool has been developed as the result of the research conducted by Dr. James White and his colleagues at The University of Western Ontario. This technique provides a single, 3D high-resolution image of the heart viewing both its vasculature and the presence of scar tissue within the muscle. This novel imaging was designed using a 3-Tesla MRI at Western's Robarts Research Institute. The findings are published on-line in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging. Injuries to the heart, such as heart attacks or viral inflammation, usually lead to permanent damage or scarring of the myocardium. Dr. White explained: "We've known for some time that myocardial (heart) scar tissue can be imaged using MRI, but what we've now been able to do is to take this imaging to another level," he continued: "This is the first time we have been able to visualize myocardial scar and the heart's blood vessels at the same time. We are able to construct a three dimensional model of a person's heart to immediately understand the relationship between the heart's blood vessels and related permanent injury. This will help direct surgeons and cardiologists to better target the blood vessels that lead to muscle capable of responding to their therapy, rather than to muscle that is irreversibly diseased." The imaging tool provides 3D model of the heart. This innovative technique works by first acquiring a 3D coronary image using a continuous infusion of a contrast called gadolinium, which makes the blood-pool light up brightly. The 3-T MRI takes images as this contrast is infused into the blood stream, providing a high resolution, 3-D image of the heart revealing coronary blood vessels. Scar tissue is slow to give up this contrast agent and its signal is therefore retained despite a washing out of contrast from the blood stream and normal tissues. A second image, acquired 20 minutes later, shows the heart's scar, also in 3D. As the two images are taken in a similar way using the exact same MRI pulse sequence, they are already perfectly suited to be fused to one another. The result is a fused, 3D model of the heart that demonstrates both the heart's vessels and scar tissue. Evaluating heart condition before treatment. The imaging technique was used on 55 patients referred for either bypass surgery or a specialized pacemaker designed to improve heart function called Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT), demonstrating that the procedure was clinically feasible. The study showed that this novel imaging technique might be useful for the planning of these vascular-based cardiac interventions. Dr White noted that in bypass or angioplasty procedures surgeons have to determine whether or not to open up blocked blood vessels, but if a scar exists in that region, no benefit will be expected. In addition, CRT pacemaker impulses conducted to scar tissue may eliminate any benefit from this ... Read more

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