The technical exhibits at the 90th Scientiﬁc Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA 2004) set 2 new RSNA records. The total number of exhibitors hit an all-time high of 690—with 134 ﬁrst-time participants—and the total ﬂoor space used exceeded 455,000 square feet. The following is a brief glimpse at some of the new products showcased in Chicago, IL, November 28 through December 3, 2004.
The technical exhibits at the 90th Scientific Assembly and
Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA
2004) set 2 new RSNA records. The total number of exhibitors hit an
all-time high of 690-with 134 first-time participants-and the total
floor space used exceeded 455,000 square feet. The following is a
brief glimpse at some of the new products showcased in Chicago, IL,
November 28 through December 3, 2004.
Hologic, Inc. (Bedford, MA) featured several women's health
imaging products including a new multimodality breast imaging
workstation and a high-resolution vertebral assessment tool.
The SecurviewDX breast imaging workstation (Figure 1) is a
multimodality workstation for display and interpretation of
diagnostic and screening mammograms, as well as images from all
other modalities, including magnetic resonance (MR), computed
tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and
ultrasound. The workstation is also capable of supporting
computer-aided detection (CAD) programs.
"The ability to use our dedicated workstation to view digital
mammograms from any vendor, as well as images for other modalities,
should have a significant impact on improved workflow in breast
imaging suites," said Jack W. Cumming, Chairman and CEO of Hologic.
"In addition, physicians will now be able to use our package of
specialized image manipulation tools on virtually any digital
mammogram. These tools have been developed in close cooperation
with clinical end-users to support high-quality, high-volume
diagnostic case review."
The company also announced that the company's Discovery Series
Densitometers (Figure 2) will now include a new modality known as
Radiological Vertebral Assessment (RVA). Designed to help the
physician detect vertebral fractures, RVA provides a
high-resolution image of the spine as a part of the bone
densitometry examination. Reimbursement for this assessment is
covered under the new CPT code (76007) for vertebral fracture
assessment performed using dual-energy X-ray densitometers.
Radiological vertebral assessment uses the company's proprietary
OnePass fan-beam technology and radiographic standards, such as
variable collimation plus single energy imaging. The company
reports that the OnePass fan-beam technology uses nearly 8 times
the number of detectors as competitive rectilinear dual-energy
X-ray absorptiometry systems, thereby reducing imaging time by
Currently available on Hologic's Discovery series densitometers,
RVA is expected to be available as an upgrade to previous
generations of the company's QDR series systems in early 2005.
Also at RSNA 2004, Barco (Kortrijk, Belgium) presented upgrades
to its Coronis medical display systems, personal digital assistant
(PDA) support for its MediCal Administrator software, and, as a
work-in-progress, a new vessel analysis software module.
The Coronis display system is now equipped with the company's
10-bit digital display controller, the BarcoMed Coronis, designed
to speed workflow and enhance manipulation capabilities. The
dual-head controller provides 1024 simultaneous levels of gray and
features 64-bit, 66 Mhz PCI performance and image download speeds
Barco also added a new 2 megapixel (2MP) display with 1600 ×
1200 resolution. This new display features in-plane switching (IPS)
technology for enhanced viewing of angle characteristics.
In addition, Barco presented new remote calibration and
problem-solving capabilities for its hospital-wide image quality
management system. The new features of MediCal Administrator 2.05
include PDA support, enhanced reporting functionality, and
administrator notification through the simple network management
The new version provides system administrators with access to
all medical display systems via their PDA and provides the ability
to control proactive checkups from any remote location. As a
result, quality assurance (QA) interventions can be performed at
any time without disturbing radiology activities. It also allows
Pocket PC users to view information about each display system and
the QA tasks that have been performed, along with a status overview
of all displays within the facility.
The company has also enhanced the program's reporting
capabilities. With MediCal Administrator 2.05, QA administrators
can now export all QA data reports to familiar file formats, such
as Excel and PDF. The new version also includes extended
notification functionality. Technicians can now automatically be
notified via SNMP whenever one of the display systems performs
Lastly, Barco also used RSNA 2004 to preview its new vessel
analysis software from its Voxar product group. The new
VesselMetrix offers advanced multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) and
3-dimensional (3D) functionality for analysis of aneurysms and
stenosis (Figure 3). It provides a clinical protocol-based workflow
for quantitative analysis of contrast-enhanced CT angiography (CTA)
and MR angiography (MRA) studies, including stenosis and
stent-graft planning and surveillance.
According to the company, "the VesselMetrix module was designed
to increase productivity, report key images faster, and make the
clinical task of reading CTA and MRA studies easier with minimal
user intervention." With this program, automated vessel finding
serves as a baseline for vessel measurements and permits
segmentation of vessels with 2 mouse clicks. The Live Images
capabilities allow the user to prepare a study for viewing and save
it for subsequent reading.
"Clinical exams, such as CTA, are now becoming a routine part of
a radiologist's daily worklist, quickly replacing invasive,
expensive exams such as traditional catheter angiography," said
Craig Anderson, General Manager of the Voxar Product Group at
Barco. "VesselMetrix provides radiologists with advanced MPR and 3D
functionality to improve productivity in the visualization and
analysis of selected vessels for accurate diagnosis of aneurysms
and blocked arteries."
GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) used RSNA 2004 to launch
its first high-definition magnetic resonance (HDMR) system.
According to the company, this system was designed to improve speed
and image quality for patients with uncontrollable movement, such
as those with Parkinson's disease and children who do not respond
to sedation (Figure 4).
This new technology, available on the Signa 1.5T and 3.0T MR
systems, enables massively simultaneous imaging in multiple
channels in increments of 16. Image-processing power increases in
proportion as sets of 16 channels are added.
GE's proprietary EXCITE technology previously enabled 3
high-resolution, targeted MR applications: VIBRANT for bilateral
breast imaging in a single examination; TRICKS for MRA of the legs;
and PROPELLER for high-quality, motion-resistant brain imaging.
"Now with HD, we've an extremely fast data processing engine
coupled with high-density surface coils and extremely accurate
gradients," said Dennis Cooke, GE Healthcare's Vice President,
Global MR Business. "The result is a unique balanced acquisition
architecture, with individual receive channels connected to
dedicated reconstruction engines. This allows us to develop
entirely new applications that are available only with HDMR." The
new targeted studies include high-resolution imaging of the liver
with greater coverage and shorter breath-holds, MR echo real-time
imaging of the heart without the need for breath-holding or ECG
gating, and enhanced definition of peripheral vascular imaging of
the lower leg and foot with a new 32-element peripheral vascular
"Dedicated high-density coils facilitate throughput and enable
high-definition scanning, resulting in dramatic images reminiscent
of those provided by high-definition television," added Lawrence N.
Tanenbaum, MD, Section Chief MRI, CT, and Neuroradiology, New
Jersey Neuroscience Institute (Edison, NJ) and a member of the
editorial board of this journal.
The company also introduced its next-generation volume CT (VCT)
scanner, the LightSpeed VCT. This new system, with a 64-channel
detector, 0.35-sec rotation time, and 40-mm coverage, allows for
scanning of the heart in 5 beats.
The first LightSpeed VCT was installed at Froedtert Hospital,
Milwaukee, WI, in 2004. "It is somewhat amazing that an accurate 3D
image of the coronary arteries and sites of focal disease can be
obtained from a beating heart," said W. Dennis Foley, MD, Chief of
Digital Imaging at Froedtert and Professor of Radiology, the
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Foley noted, "The
LightSpeed VCT system does this using rapid high-resolution imaging
gated to the patient's heart cycle."
According to the company, the LightSpeed VCT can attain 43-msec
temporal resolution, effectively freezing the motion of the heart.
In a single rotation, the system creates 64 submillimeter images,
totaling 40 mm of anatomic coverage, which are combined to form a
3D view of the patient's anatomy. The system is also able to scan
the entire body in 10 seconds.
The 5-Beat Cardiac examination application for this system
allows the user to obtain high-quality images of coronary arteries
at submillimeter resolution in only 5 beats of the heart for rapid
diagnostic evaluation of arterial stenosis. The Triple RuleOut
application was designed for use in patients who present to the
emergency department with acute chest pain. Such patients can
undergo a single scan with the LightSpeed VCT to search for
evidence of heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or aortic dissection.
For stroke patients, the LightSpeed VCT offers rapid perfusion
studies of the brain, enabling doctors to make a quick diagnosis of
stroke and determine the extent of damage.
3TP Imaging Sciences
3TP Imaging Sciences (White Plains, NY) introduced its new
postprocessing computer analysis software for dynamic
contrast-enhanced MR images of the prostate at RSNA 2004.
This proprietary technology, developed by Professor Hadassa
Degani, Head of Magnetic Resonance for Biomedical Research at the
Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel, was designed for use in the
preoperative staging of biopsy-proven prostate cancer. The product
includes several new features, including a major upgrade of the
motion-correction software, which processes data in one third of
the time previously required.
The software is an extension of the breast imaging software
package introduced by 3TP and is based on the wash-in and wash-out
properties of contrast media in tissue. The 3TP formula measures
tissue permeability and extracellular volume fraction on a
pixel-by-pixel basis at 3 distinct time points. The software
assigns a color to each pixel, which enables the radiologist to
rapidly identify suspicious areas for further analysis (Figure
"3TP software provides a valuable tool to establish an accurate
diagnosis of prostate staging, and I am tremendously excited about
the potential to use 3TP to improve brachytherapy planning and to
calculate tumor volume measurements," said B. Nicolas Bloch, MD,
Research Fellow in Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA,
and Instructor in Radiology, Medical University of Vienna,
Suros Surgical Systems
Suros Surgical System, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN) introduced 4 new
breast biopsy devices at RSNA 2004, including an all-in-one
vacuum-assist-ed system, the ATEC Sapphire, which is compatible
with all primary diagnostic imaging modalities, including MR. The
company also unveiled the ATEC Pearl, the ATEC MRI Access petite
needle, and the ATEC TriMark marker deployment system.
The ATEC Sapphire provides vacuum-assisted minimally invasive
tissue excision when used with ultrasound, stereotactic guidance,
or MRI (Figure 6). The lower-priced ATEC Pearl is similar but does
not include the MR compatibility. Both systems are 25% smaller than
the previous versions and are capable of obtaining a core nearly
every 4.5 seconds, or 14 cores per minute. The completely closed
systems are compatible with both 9- and 12-g needle options and are
operated via the use of a single foot pedal that initiates the
start and stop of the 7ounce handpiece.
The ATEC MRI Access 9-g petite needle has a unique
hemispherically shaped tip that allows physicians to access biopsy
targets on breasts compressed to as little as 22 mm without concern
for skin perforation. According to the company, this gives women
with small or "thin" breasts the option to choose a needle biopsy
over an open surgical procedure. The petite needle is compatible
with both the ATEC Sapphire and the ATEC Pearl.
The ATEC TriMark is a marker and deployment system that offers
permanent visualization in all 3 primary breast imaging modalities.
It is composed of implant-grade, biocompatible titanium and is
available in 2 lengths. The TriMark 13 is used for ultrasound and
MR-guided biopsies, while the TriMark 36 is for use in
stereotactic-guided procedures. The marker is sized to fit both the
9- and the 12-g needles.