Cardiac Imaging News

Rcadia's COR Analyzer System for Coronary Artery Evaluation Receives FDA …

Rcadia Medical Imaging, a leading developer of systems for computerized analysis of medical images particularly for patient triage in emergency and life threatening conditions, announced that it has been awarded FDA 510 (k) marketing clearance for an enhanced version of its COR Analyzer® System to assess coronary branch vessels in addition to main coronary arteries in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). The clearance is the third for the COR Analyzer System, a unique clinical decision support tool that automatically detects significant (50 % and over) stenosis in coronary arteries from Coronary CT Angiography (cCTA) studies. Shai Levanon, President and CEO of Rcadia, said: "The enhanced version expands the benefits of the COR Analyzer System as a powerful complement to cCTA in evaluating suspected CAD patients. By providing rapid detection of stenotic lesions our system enables expanded use of cCTA to enhance patient care and reduce unnecessary costs." The FDA clearance comes after the recent publication of the first clinical study evaluating the COR Analyzer's enhanced version. The study, published (online) in Academic Radiology, in January 2011 by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, showed that the "COR Analyzer provides a high negative predictive value for the absence of coronary disease in branch vessels as well as the major coronary arteries." The retrospective study, conducted by Ethan Halpern, MD, and David Halpern, compared 207 patients examined by the COR Analyzer System with expert interpretation. The final clinical interpretation identified 48 patients with significant (over 50 percent) stenosis. In the study, the COR Analyzer System demonstrated a sensitivity of 92 %, negative predictive value of 97 %, specificity of 70 % and a positive predictive value of 48 %. The researchers noted that the "high negative predictive value will be most useful in a population with a low prevalence of coronary disease - such as the emergency room chest pain population - where the COR Analyzer might be used to facilitate the rapid discharge of a majority of patients who have normal coronary CTA studies during all hours of the day or ... Read more


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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved the first MRI-compatible cardiac pacemaker. Revo MRI SureScan Pacing System produced by Medtronic Inc. is now ready for immediate shipping. Heart pacemakers are devices that produce electric impulses to regulate heart beats. As the population ages, the use of pacemakers is growing, with approximately 5 million patients worldwide depending on implaned pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. At the same time, the use of MRI as a diagnostic tool is increasing. However, patients using these devices had to avoid undergoing MRI scans as the powerful magnetic fields generated during the imaging procedures (which can be as much as 30.000 times more powerful than the Earth's magnetic field), interfere with the pacemakers' function. Medtronic estimates a number of  200,000 U.S. pacemaker patients each year that opt out of MRI scans, despite being a critical tool for diagnosing a wide range of diseases. The Revo MRI SureScan Pacing System has a function that can be turned on before a scan to prepare these patients for the MRI machines.  This feature helps in limiting or even completely eleminating any potential MRI hazard. 'A major technological breakthrough for patients who need access to MRI,"  proudly comments J. Rod Gimbel of Cardiology Associates of East Tennessee in Knoxville.  "Providing pacemaker patients with access to MRI allows detection and treatment of serious medical conditions such as stroke, cancer and a wide variety of important neurologic and orthopedic conditions,' Gimbel added. "FDA's approval of the Revo pacemaker represents an important step forward toward greater device innovation. Those patients who meet the parameters for the device will be able to maintain their critical cardiac therapy while benefiting from the precise diagnostic capability of an MRI," concluded Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological ... Read more

Cardiac Imaging Raises Cancer Risk in Heart Attack …

Frequently performed after heart attacks,cardiac imaging procedures are increasing the radiation exposure of patients as well as their long-term cancer risk, a new research says. According to what is believed to be the first study to directly link cumulative exposure to low dose ionizing radiation, to cancer risk, 12,020 cancers were detected in follow up research of 82,861-size population, two thirds of which affected the abdomen, pelvis and chest areas. The Canadian research team at McGill University Health Center (MUHC) and the Jewish General  Hospital, Montreal, examined data on 82,861 patients who had suffered a heart attack between April 1996 and March 2006, but without any cancer history. Within a year of the attack, 77% of all the patients underwent at least one heart procedure with low-dose radiation. Patients' exposure to radiation was higher when treated by a cardiologist as opposed to a general practitioner. Dr. Louise Pilote, an epidemiology researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC), director of the internal medicine division at MUHC, and her colleagues wrote "We found a relation between the cumulative exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation from cardiac imaging and therapeutic procedures after acute myocardial infarction [heart attack], and the risk of incident cancer," They continued "Although most patients were exposed to low or moderate levels of radiation, a substantial group were exposed to high levels and in general tended to be younger male patients with fewer co-morbidities [co-existing health problems]," The researchers concluded "These results call into question whether our current enthusiasm for imaging and therapeutic procedures after acute myocardial infarction should be tempered. We should at least consider putting into place a system of prospectively documenting the imaging tests and procedures that each patient undergoes and estimating his or her cumulative exposure to low-dose ionizing ... Read more

CTA and MRA equally accurate for coronary imaging…

First direct comparison of newer imaging modalities shows equal accuracy in diagnosing coronary artery stenosis. Newer MRI and CT-angiography proved nearly equal in identifying significant stenosis, and were equally accurate in predicting the need for revascularization in patients with known coronary artery disease (CAD), in the first direct comparison of MRA and CTA, say German researchers. In their study, the researchers led by Dr. Ashraf Hamdan, of the German Heart Institute, compared the diagnostic accuracy of 32-channel, 3.0-T MRI and 64-slice CT scan before conventional x-ray angiography. Their report appeared in the January, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging. “Thirty-two channel 3.0-T MRI and 64-slice CT angiography similarly identify significant coronary stenosis in patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease scheduled for elective coronary angiography,” the authors wrote, “however, CT angiography showed a favorable trend toward higher diagnostic performance.” The prospective study involved 120 consecutive patients with known or suspected CAD, all of whom underwent both MRI and CT scans before elective x-ray angiography. They compared the ability of either modality to detect stenosis of 50 percent or greater in artery segments greater than 1.5 mm in diameter. A total of 322 coronary vessels were imaged. MRI accurately diagnosed stenosis in 83 percent of the patients with 87 percent sensitivity. That compared to an accurate diagnosis rate of 87 percent for the CT scans with 90 percent sensitivity.  Both methods were 100 percent accurate in diagnosing three-vessel and left main disease, although numbers of these were very small, with two patients having left main disease and 11 with three-vessel disease. The authors also reported that both methods provided equally accurate predictions of the need for revascularization, but that conventional angiography was significantly better. Angiography via an arterial catheter is accepted as the gold standard for the diagnosis of coronary artery stenosis, but it is an invasive procedure requiring threading a catheter through arteries to areas of interest, where a dye is injected and an x-ray is taken. The procedure carries rare, but serious risks and takes one to three hours. Hamdan told The Hub that MRI and CT both hold advantages and disadvantages that make them useful in addition to conventional angiography in certain situations. “MRI can be used in diagnosing heart disease, particularly when examining ventricular function, myocardial viability, and myocardial ischemia,” Hamdan said via e-mail. “In addition, MRI can be used to differ(entiate) between ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy.” The advantage of conventional catheter angiography is that treatment with a stent can be done immediately at the time of diagnosis, whereas patients with stenosis diagnosed by MRI or CT will likely need to schedule catheterization for treatment on another day. In addition, CT angiography requires exposure to radiation and potentially toxic dyes. Hamdan thinks that combining MRI with coronary angiography might provide a significant advantage for certain types of patients. “In the future a combined use of MRI stress testing and coronary angiography or CT stress testing and coronary angiography in the same imaging session would provide incremental and crucial benefit for the evaluation of coronary artery disease,” he said. In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Paul Schoenhagen, of the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Eike Nagel, of King's College in London, pointed out that although coronary angiography remains the preferred approach for patients at high risk, it is a more invasive procedure that carries risks. In an interview with The Hub, Schoenhagen said that the choice of one modality over another is not about which is better, but which is best for the individual patient. “The main difference/advantage is the non-invasive nature of CT and MRI (with lower examination time, higher patient comfort, etc.” Schoenhagen said. “However, risk-benefit must be considered for individual patient and depends on both patient characteristics and the clinical scenario. In experienced centers, the physicians will direct the individual patient to the most appropriate test.” By: Michael O'Leary, contributing editor Health Imaging ... Read more

Advanced Pediatric Cardiac Imaging Symposium to Take …

The Children's Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto, California, along with the Department of Radiology, at the Stanford University School of Medicine, are going to organize an Advanced Pediatric Cardiac Imaging Symposium. ... Read more

St. Jude Medical Releases ViewMate Z Intracardiac …

St. Jude Medical, Inc., an international medical device company, announced the release of its new products; ViewMate(TM) Z Intracardiac Ultrasound System and ViewFlex(TM) Plus Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE) Catheter. The new solutions offer better cardiac visualization. The ViewMate Z System is designed for real-time image guidance and visualization of the cardiac anatomy. The system has the capability to offer fast, high-fidelity images that help direct diagnosis or therapy during complex electrophysiology procedures. The system is compatible with the new ViewFlex(TM) Plus ICE Catheter, which provides improved one-handed control, steering angles up to 120° and enhanced tip stability. The ViewMate Z System is designed to improve clinicians' visualization of cardiac anatomy and the effects of treatment in real-time. The ViewMate Z System is considered one of the industry's smallest cart-based systems. It offers greater portability and optimizes vital lab space while decreasing obstructions in a clinician's workflow. The system was designed, developed and produced through St. Jude Medical's development and distribution agreement with ZONARE Medical Systems, a leading provider of high-end ultrasound systems. Jane J. Song, president of the St. Jude Medical Atrial Fibrillation Division, said: "The ViewMate Z System offers clear visualization of patient anatomy and in turn provides the opportunity for a more effective procedure for the patient. It also has a unique ability to quickly produce exceptional images in a compact, cart-based system, improving on the effectiveness and efficiency of current ICE systems. This system is just the first of many products we intend to launch focusing on better imaging tools that put more control in the hands of physicians." ZONARE Medical System's unique Zone Sonography(TM) enables the ViewMate Z System to provide unequalled image quality, performance and features, as well as advanced image processing capabilities without the limitations of current systems. Conventional ultrasound systems acquire and process echo data line-by-line and therefore are limited by the time needed for sound propagation in the patient's body. Zone Sonography technology is a new approach to echo data acquisition and image formation. It acquires ultrasound data very quickly in a relatively small number of large zones, each of which contain a volume of data equivalent to many lines in a conventional system. Zone Sonography technology acquires data up to ten times faster than conventional systems. Ultrasound technology allows physicians to produce high-resolution intracardiac images. These images help guide doctors in performing different types of procedures such as radiofrequency (RF) ablation to treat arrhythmias and in closing defects such as patent foramen ovale (PFO), a small hole or opening in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria). Moreover, clear views inside the heart also help reduce the time taken by physicians to perform such procedures, providing patients an opportunity to recover more quickly and potentially enhancing hospital productivity and performance. Ultrasound imaging systems are designed to work by transmitting high-frequency sound waves through a transducer on the tip of a catheter. The sound waves reflect off structures inside the heart and the transducer collects and converts them back into electric energy to produce anatomical images. This ultrasound imaging process can also help lesssen unnecessary fluoroscopy (X-ray) exposure to the patient and ... Read more

Siemens Healthcare and Endosense Collaborate for a …

Endosense, a Swiss medical technology company, and Siemens Healthcare, a leading innovator in healthcare industry, have entered into an agreement for a joint development project intended to integrate the contact-force data provided by Endosense’s TactiCath® force-sensing ablation catheter with Siemens’ electrophysiology solutions. The goal of the project is to develop a technologically advanced, all-in-one software application, that allows electrophysiologists to visualize catheter-tip-to-tissue contact force within a three-dimensional anatomic heart model during catheter ablation procedures. “The joint development project between Endosense and Siemens represents a very promising area of future advancement in the field of catheter ablation, as it will offer electrophysiologists a new platform for incorporating contact force sensing into clinical practice,” said Eric Le Royer, chief executive officer, Endosense. He added: “An integrated, all-in-one system will deliver greater functionality and efficiency to EP labs, thereby moving Endosense another step toward our goal of improving and expanding catheter ablation for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. We look forward to collaborating with a respected, trend-setting company like Siemens to move this new platform forward.” Endosense is a forefront company in the field of contact force sensing in catheter ablation with its TactiCath1 force-sensing ablation catheter and accompanying TactiSys system. Introduced in April 2010, the second generation of the novel device is now used by electrophysiologists across Europe for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) and supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). A growing body of evidence has reinforced the value of force sensing in improving patient outcomes of catheter ablation procedures. Endosense relies on this data with its recently launched TOCCASTAR investigational device exemption (IDE) study. Martin Ostermeier, Director Innovations of the Interventional X-ray business unit of Siemens Healthcare, said: "We believe optimization of catheter tip-to-tissue contact force bears huge potential to improve effectiveness and efficiency of electrophysiology (EP) ablation procedures. However, it is important to visualize this new parameter in relation to the 3D anatomy of the heart and, if available, planning data.  The goal of our joint project is to demonstrate the clinical benefits of Endosense’s TactiCath technology integrated into the advanced 3D imaging capabilities, the syngo DynaCT cardiac of our Artis zee family of cath-lab angiography systems for EP ... Read more

Strong Competition Between CCTA And MPI Growth Rates.…

A new study, presented at the RSNA meeting in November, mentioned that the use of coronary CT angiography (CCTA) has fallen faster than that of radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). According to David Levin, MD, and colleagues from Thomas ... Read more

SHAPE Starts Registration For Its Carotid IMT …

SAHPE, The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication announced that the registration for SHAPE Carotid IMT Certification Workshop has begun. The event will take place on the 15th of January 2011 at Trevisio Restaurant and Conference Center in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. SHAPE is a non-profit organization aiming to improve early diagnosis and preventive measures in order to decrease the risks of cardiac attacks. The workshop will be attended by primary care physicians, cardiologists and radiologists. The event will take place as a part of the SHAPE Provider Certification initiative, which is concentrating on following the best procedures to decrease the incidence of acute coronary events and mortalities from coronary artery disease. During the workshop, attendees are going to learn evaluate patients’ eligibility to undergo Carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) screening, a procedure that is carried out to identify hidden plaques while developing in coronary and carotid arteries. Attendees will also learn to how to use Carotid IMT in a primary care facility. JoAnne Zawitoski, chair of the SHAPE Board of Directors, said “The SHAPE Carotid IMT Certification Workshop illustrates the ways SHAPE is working to raise the level of operator training and experience to achieve high quality results from atherosclerosis tests,” She added “By teaching providers how to responsibly employ scientifically proven screening methodologies such as Carotid IMT as a part of a physician’s preventive medicine practice, SHAPE Provider Certification is making progress toward improving clinical outcomes for patients.” SHAPE recommends two non-invasive imaging procedures to detect atherosclerosis; one of them is Carotid IMT scanning by ultrasound. Carotid IMT is able to identify, and therefore decrease, asymptomatic risk of cardiac attack instead of depending on reviewing risk factors such as high cholesterol level and familial history. SHAPE also encourages coronary artery calcification scoring (CACS) by a computed tomography (CT) scan, the organization says that both tests should be added to a screening program for apparently healthy populations while they continue to ... Read more

Philips Cooperates With German Partners To Improve MPI …

Royal Philips Electronics, a major company providing medical imaging systems, has recently announced the beginning of a new German public-private partnership, which aims to improve the developments currently taking place in whole-body Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) systems, along with the preclinical hybrid systems that use a combination of MPI and the traditional MRI scans. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research committed to offer a fund of EUR 10.6 million to the consortium partners, and the total budget will be EUR 20.3 million. Philips aims to strengthen its position as a leading provider of the latest medical imaging systems. Therefore, the company is contributing the researches carried out to develop MPI; the imaging technique was designed by scientists at Philips. More about MPI. MPI is based on the magnetic properties of iron-oxide nanoparticles (called tracer), which are injected into blood, then an MPI system starts to detect, spatially and quantitatively, these tracers to generate 3D images. MPI technology was tried successfully and produced real-time 3D images of cardiac motion and blood flow in mice. Michael Kuhn, Vice President Technology Strategy at Philips Healthcare, said "As part of our Open Innovation approach, Philips has initiated the Magnetic Particle Imaging Technology - MAPIT - consortium to accelerate the translation of this innovative new imaging concept into clinical practice," He added "Realizing the full potential of MPI to help in elucidating the processes associated with disease requires an integrated approach and a collaborative effort. I am convinced that the multidisciplinary MAPIT consortium is well positioned to advance MPI development in the areas of instrumentation, tracers, and application research." Professor Bernd Hamm, Director of the Department of Radiology and Chair of Radiology at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, commented "Constant improvements in medical imaging technology have significantly boosted advances in healthcare. Based on the level of performance that has been demonstrated in preclinical studies, I consider MPI to be a new imaging modality with the real potential to improve diagnostic imaging in cardiology and oncology, as well as being a tremendous tool for the advancement of molecular imaging in ... Read more


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The Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, an independent, not-for-profit healthcare organization, has recently implemented Toshiba America Medical System’s Infinix CC-i cardiac imaging system and the MAQUET OR table to form its new hybrid operating room (OR) suite. By using these latest innovations, the hospital will increase its ability to provide patients with the highest quality of care and increase the collaboration between pediatric surgical and interventional doctors. Combining the Infinix CC-i’s unequalled image quality and range of movement with the versatility of the MAQUET OR table provides the ideal hybrid OR lab where both surgeons and interventionalists have optimal access to patients. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota will use its new hybrid OR suite for a range of complex interventional and open surgical procedures. Being one of the pioneer hybrid cardiovascular operating room suitable for pediatrics in the country, the features of the Infinix CC-i system enable Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to perform hybrid procedures in a pediatric setting. The system is designed to allow both interventionalists and surgeons to work in collaboration and offers a highly powerful patient access, a critical capability in hybrid exams. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is using the new hybrid lab for various purposes from angiograms to complex hypoplastic heart procedures. “The key to hybrid procedures in the OR is a multi-functional system that can serve as an operating room, hybrid suite and true functional catheterization lab,” said Dr. Frank Moga, pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. “The Toshiba Infinix CC-i cardiac imaging system is advancing the cooperative relationship between vascular surgeons and interventionalists. Patient outcomes are improving as a result of the collaboration and the seamless processes the system creates.” Toshiba has entered into an agreement with MAQUET, surgical table manufacturer, to provide hospitals with more versatility and a smooth transition from endovascular imaging to surgical intervention on a single system. The MAQUET OR table provides interchangeable tabletops, optimizing asset utilization of these specialized OR suites when combined with Toshiba’s Infinix CC-i or VC-i systems. The Infinix CC-i is a ceiling-mounted, triple-axis system most known for its ability to achieve quick and accurate interventional examinations with an unrestricted range and smoothness of movement. Its isocentric rotation function covers a range of 270 degrees, allowing the doctor to examine the patient from any angle, an extremely important feature for hybrid procedures. Another unique ability for the Infinix CC-i is that it can be utilized to help guide catheters, effectively place devices or perform less-invasive repairs, resulting in shorter procedure times with better overall outcomes. Doug Ryan, vice president, Marketing and Strategic Development, Toshiba, said: “In hybrid ORs, everything from stent implementation and post-procedure angiograms to open heart surgery can be performed in the same setting. Toshiba’s Infinix-i imaging systems and MAQUET’s OR table provide the ultimate flexibility for clinicians to quickly and easily access both the patient and ancillary equipment.” Besides, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has also adopted Toshiba’s Infinix VF-i bi-plane with two 12” x 12” flat panel detectors to perform traditional pediatric cardiac diagnostic and interventional procedures. The Infinix VF-i bi-plane, with two mid-size flat panel detectors, is designed to increase the flexibility and diagnostic capabilities in bi-plane vascular X-ray imaging. This flat panel detector combination provides clinicians with multiple variations of angle combinations and anatomical coverage to produce the optimal universal bi-plane vascular X-ray system for a wide variety of single-plane and bi-plane clinical ... Read more

Toshiba Expands Its Suite Of Low-Dose CT Technologies.…

Toshiba America Medical Systems, a major company providing medical diagnostic imaging solutions, is expanding its suite of low-dose computed tomography (CT) technologies with Target CTA and Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction (AIDR), which will be ... Read more

Cardiac MR Detects Cardiomyopathy More Accurate Than …

A new study presented at the 2010 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago, discusses a special type of cardiomyopathy called Left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC). This type of cardiomyopathy still has many obscure areas and it is usually associated with heart failure (HF), stroke and ventricular arrhythmias. The researchers also reported that advanced imaging technologies revealed that developing these cardiac risks appear to progress over time in patients with LVNC. Pathogenesis of LVNC. LVNC is an inherited heart muscle condition in which the muscular wall of the left ventricle appears to be spongy and non-compacted, consisting of a meshwork of numerous muscle bands (trabeculations). However, its cause, development, clinical course and treatment will be the aim of ongoing research. Therefore, the study authors said that the cardiology community's understanding of the natural history of LVNC continues to evolve. "Our ability to detect and recognize this condition has grown considerably over the past decade, as our imaging technologies have advanced. Fifteen years ago, the main tool to examine cardiac muscle was echocardiography, which was not as sensitive as it is today. Now, with the advent of cardiac MR [magnetic resonance], we are able to see far more detail of the heart.", said study investigator William T. Katsiyiannis, MD, director of the Genetic Arrhythmia Center and a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. While the current prevalence of LVNC is unknown, Katsiyiannis expects that the condition may be far more common than has been previously reported, due to poor diagnostic measures. Previous data have indicated complications for patients with LVNC include stroke from blood clots that form in the non-compacted tissue, the development of heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction and the development of potentially dangerous ventricular arrhythmias. Echocardiography can not rule out LVNC.   To assess the incidence of these traditional risk factors with LVNC, the researchers examined patients by echocardiography or cardiac MR, and diagnosed 125 patients with LVNC. Echocardiography diagnosed only 38.2 % of cases. Katsiyiannis said: "The incidence rates are unclear because echo has been the gold standard. Echo missed the majority of patients with LVNC. Therefore, LVNC cannot be ruled out based on a normal echo." The study's patient population had a higher than expected incidence of congestive heart failure (38.5 %), left ventricular dysfunction with ejection fraction of less than 45 % by cardiac MR (31.9 %) and ventricular tachycardia (24.8 %). In addition, the researchers at Minneapolis Heart Institute® reported that 3.1 % of patients experienced stroke and 3.1 % experienced sudden death. Katsiyiannis finally concluded that LVNC requires "much more research before clinical decisions are based on its ... Read more

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