imageThree-dimensional ultrasound is here, and it is effectively facilitating diagnoses for a wide variety of conditions. For most applications, 3D means faster exam times, unique views of anatomy, and better patient acceptance.

3D systems, however, are not all created equal. Leeber Cohen, M.D., associate professor in the obstetrics and gynecology department at Northwestern University Medical School (Chicago), explains that systems utilizing “automatic acquisition” technology are by far superior for performing 3D ultrasound examinations. Automatic acquisition eliminates manual probe sweeps, resulting in quantitative, reproducible volume scans.

Medison (Cypress, Calif.) is perceived by many as the current leader in three-dimensional ultrasound. While most ultrasound manufacturers’ systems rely on manual acquisition, Medison’s 3D systems utilize automatic acquisition. The result is a fast scan, without motion artifacts as compared with other 3D systems on the market.

David Nyberg, M.D., associate professor of radiology, obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, says image acquisition on other vendors’ 3D systems takes a lot longer. “[Medison’s technology] is just years ahead of everyone else,” Nyberg says.

Ilan Timor-Trisch, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Medical School (New York, N.Y.), views Medison’s 3D technology as a “real breakthrough.” Timor-Trisch predicts that many centers and practices will purchase the system because of its high-resolution images, fast acquisition time, and dual 2D and 3D capabilities. Buyers can expect both superior 3D imaging and excellent 2D scans from Medison’s systems.

A Strong Adjunct
Physicians agree that 3D is really an enhancement to, not a replacement for, 2D ultrasound. “3D ultrasound can make diagnoses that are difficult with 2D,” explains Timor-Trisch, “but there are almost no [pre-natal] diagnoses that can’t be done with 2D. 3D won’t push out 2D, but it makes it more systematic and easier to localize abnormalities.”

Please refer to the September 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis