The location is relaxed, but the topic is serious. Cardiovascular disease is a global problem that crosses borders, languages, cultures, and customs. The Amer-ican College of Cardiology (ACC) will be addressing these challenges at its 53rd Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans on March 7–10.

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This year’s venue, the Morial Convention Center, offers a state-of-the-art facility that will house the industry’s most influential products and services as well as the most knowledgeable faculty from around the globe. The following is just a handful of exhibiting companies that contribute to the advancement in cardiovascular imaging.

Making a Difference
The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE of Raleigh NC) will be celebrating is 50th anniversary at ACC. The organization’s booth will feature the theme, “Echocardi-ography: 50 Years of Saving Lives.” As part of the ongoing celebration, ASE will be showcasing its 50th anniversary exhibit, which will include historic echocardiography equipment. The exhibit also will feature the first echocardiographic image.

Poster sessions at the ACC show are being sponsored by Biosite Inc (San Diego). The sessions will approach such topics as prospective studies in search of an optimal B-type natriuretic peptide level to screen patients for cardiac dysfunction. Biosite will also discuss the primary results of the Rapid Emergency Department heart failure outpatient trial, and the evaluation of B-Type natriuretic peptide levels in both normal and pre-eclamptic women during pregnancy.

Visitors to the Boston Scientific (Boston) booth can view an array of the company’s equipment being displayed. The FilterWire EX system, the first embolic protection filter to receive clearance by the FDA for use in SVG interventions, will be available for viewing. Also to be exhibited is the Galaxy IVUS imaging system, which is capable of reducing procedural time, enhancing ease-of-use, and expanding functionality. The company will be showing its Atlantis SR Pro coronary imaging catheter, featuring a redesigned transducer housing and drive shaft for more uniform imaging core rotation.

The newly released OptiCount collimator from Digirad (San Diego) will be showcased at ACC. The system increases the organ sensitivity of Digirad’s nuclear cardiology imaging systems by an average of 15% per detector head—all while maintaining the same level of reconstructed image spatial resolution. The OptiCount is available as an optional accessory for solid gamma cameras or as an upgrade to Digirad’s existing installed base of cameras.

 Medical Imaging Solutions carefully selects its components and offers training to in-house and third-party service providers in an effort to eliminate the need for service contracts that can sacrifice image quality and reliability.
 Optional cardiology applications for the GEMINI PET/CT from Philips Medical Systems include cardiac calcium scoring as well as ECG tagging for prospective and retrospective gating for functional assessment.
 Above: Midmark Diagnostic Group’s IQmark digital ECG streamlines workflow in the physician’s office, eliminates a source of data transcription errors, and provides the physician with a unified view of patient diagnostic data.

MedGraphics (St Paul, Minn) will be highlighting its patented breath-by-breath gas exchange system, the CPX Ultima. The system provides objective, reproducible data on functional capacity, along with a method for determining the primary cause of exercise intolerance or dyspnea. The company also will be displaying its BreezeSuite software, which combines data collection with data review on a single screen. The software is designed to enable custom configurations and future expandability, along with an open architecture database to provide instant data access.

Attendees will have a chance to discuss customizable features of a complete integrated imaging package from Medical Imaging Solutions (MIS of New Orleans). MIS has integrated digital acquisition components, CCD technology, hand-selected image intensifiers, and high-capacity X-ray tubes to deliver an imaging package of the highest imaging standards.

MEDIS Medical Imaging Systems (Leesburg, Va) will be introducing its new cardiac CT software solution for the rapid and accurate quantitative analysis of cardiac CT images. The CT-MASS features an integrated, standard add-on for reforming axial cardiac CT images into short axis images. The company also will be showcasing its CT-MASS Reformatter, which consists of such features as a user-friendly interface and automatic loading of reformatted images into CT-MASS.

Stellant CT infection systems from Medrad (Indianola, Pa) provide saline flush capabilities and robust protocol options for the most advanced clinical applications. The line includes the Stellant Dual and the Stellant SX, which meets the needs of the most demanding CT environments with maximum throughput and convenience.

Midmark Diagnostic Group (Versailles, Ohio) will be offering a number of its diagnostic products, including its workstation software and digital ECG, Spirometer, and Holter products. Headlin-ing the company’s product line will be the IQmark, an advanced and refined ECG system that runs on a conventional PC. Quick, easy, and intuitive, the IQMark is compatible with most electronic medical records.

In the area of patient monitoring equipment, Nakomis Medical Systems Inc (Venice, Fla) will be displaying and demonstrating its portable ECG device that interfaces directly with PCs for storage as well as printing. The company also will be displaying a Holter monitor, which is a device the size of a standard pager that has the capabilities to interface directly with PC computers.

OptiMed will have on display its extensive image and patient data management system, which is capable of interfacing to a number of imaging modalities, including the cath lab, echo lab, vascular lab, and a number of radiology related imaging modalities like CT, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. In addition to interfacing to the various imaging modalities, OptiMed’s system is capable of interfacing to all HIS and CIS systems.

 The OptiCount collimator from Digirad delivers increased organ sensitivity, which results in improved image quality.
 The MDVDR from Perkins Electronics accepts external control commands from the imaging system to automatically control functions such as record and pause.
Below: The small size of the Pixium 4700 flat-panel detector from Thales Electronic Devices (left) enables easy patient access and maximum angular possibilities. Problem Solving Concept’s ProSolv CardioVascular (center) enables physicians to view multiple images side-by-side, including images from current and previous exams. The CPX Ultima from MedGraphics (right) has the capabilities to measure the complete cardiorespiratory system compared to standard stress and resting pulmonary function tests.
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Perkins Electronics (Dallas) will be introducing its Medical DVD recorder (MDVDR) at this year’s show. The MDVDR is a general-purpose, medical-grade DVD+RW recorder and DVD player for use in medical imaging applications, such as fluoroscopy and ultrasound procedures. It has the capability to record and playback in virtually any monochrome video format or NSTC/PAL color video format. The MDVDR provides the same advantages as traditional VCR recording applications but utilizes a universally accepted, lower-cost media.

Philips Medical Systems (Bothell, Wash) will be showcasing the Allura Xper FD10 as part of its Integris Allura series, a cardiovascular portfolio of interventional imaging systems. The Allura Xper FD10 offers real-time imaging, enabling clinicians to view the smallest vessels of the heart. Philips also will have on display its new Achieva CV MR system, which exhibits an easy routine for

cardiac MRs by incorporating noninvasive diagnostics and improved soft tissue definition. Also, the GEMINI PET/CT will be showcased at the Philips booth. The system is the first open PET/CT scanner on the market. Configured with Brilliance CT 16-slice power, the GEMINI provides high image quality in advanced motion sensitive examinations.

Indianapolis-based Problem Solving Concepts will exhibit the company’s flagship product, ProSolv CardioVascular, which is a digital image management and reporting solution. ProSolv improves patient care while helping to contain rising medical costs. The technology also helps physicians read a greater number of echocardiograms in a given period time, and allows a sonographer to perform more examinations.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pa) will demonstrate advancements in echocardiography imaging on the ACUSON Sequoia C512 echocardiography system with the Paragon release. A collection of quantitative applications, workflow enhancements, and the industry’s first transesophageal echocardiography-integrated 3-D/4-D imaging solution will be showcased. Visitors to the Siemens’ booth also will be exposed to new technologies expected to change cardiology imaging, information systems that are transforming the business of cardiac care, and partnerships that are achieving concrete results. The company will advise on how to create state-of-the-art digital catheterization labs with its AXIOM Artis dBC, which is a flexible, biplane C-arm system equipped with new digital flat-panel detectors in both planes. This feature enables the system to reach all imaging speeds necessary for cardiology.

 Toshiba’s Aquilion 32 CT scanner is capable of producing 32 simultaneous slices of 0.5 mm or 1 mm with each gantry revolution for a total Z-axis coverage of 32 mm.
 Optimed’s image and patient data management system can interface to various data depositories on an HL7 basis.

Thales Electronic Devices (Little Falls, NJ) will be introducing its Pixium 4700 flat-panel detector from Trixell geared toward vascular and R&F applications. The detector is intended for real-time X-ray imaging and features a number of operating modes to deliver quality image performance for any exam.

Attendees to ACC will be able to view a full range of products from Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, Calif), such as the Aquilion 32 multislice CT, which recently experienced its inaugural installation early this year at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore). Also included in the company’s product lineup will be the Vantage (high-field MR scanner with ultra-short, wide bore 1.5T magnet), Aplio (intelligent ultrasound), simPACSUL (a digital ultrasound review station), and the Infinix-i series (the latest addition to Toshiba’s cardiovascular product line). The i series offers single plane and biplane configurations for cardiology, and the newly designed architecture allows for background archiving/processing for increased throughput.

VisualSonics (Toronto) will demonstrate its Vevo 660, a high-resolution micro-imaging technology developed and commercialized specifically to provide real-time imaging and bloodflow analysis for small animal research. Where conventional ultrasound/echocardiography systems operate only as high 12 to 15 MHz, the Vevo 660 operates at 40 to 70 MHz, which results in unmatched resolution.

This year’s Annual Scientific Session undoubtedly will provide attendees with valuable cardiac information pertaining to procedures, technology, services, and issues concerning the cardiac healthcare community. For additional insight on developments in this intensive field, refer to upcoming issues of Medical Imaging that will highlight other products, technologies, and advancements featured in New Orleans.

Lori Sichtermann is associate editor of Medical Imaging.