Imaging heart disease in the era of COVID-19

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 05, 2021
Cardiology Ultrasound
From the April 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“Considering the growing number of structural heart procedures, innovations in this area are game changers,” said Elizabeth Oakes, senior director, clinical strategy at Siemens Healthineers.

The company recently launched a product that has the potential to greatly improve procedural efficiency in this area. The latest ACUSON SC2000 PRIME 6.0 ultrasound system features 4D Volume Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE) capability with the ACUSON AcuNav Volume ICE catheter.

This is currently the only commercially available 4D Volume ICE catheter on the market as of February 2021. It provides more real-time information in one view to accurately navigate, guide and measure with multiplanar reconstruction planes (MPRs).
This technology also has the potential to reduce the need for general anesthesia as well as scheduling effort, staffing needs, procedural time, and cost compared to transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)-guided procedures.

A 2017 study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions found that left atrial appendage closure procedures performed with ICE led to 57 percent time savings per case compared to TEE.

4D Volume ICE allows physicians to offer treatment to patients that would otherwise have no options for structural heart disease procedures. These patients cannot undergo TEE or general anesthesia, or any procedure that requires optimal imaging of the tricuspid valve.

Philips is also making headway in this field with its new automated tools for mitral valve and left atrial appendage measurement, Auto MVA and LAA solution, and its new visualization tools, TrueVue Glass. These tools are for use with the company’s EPIQ CVx ultrasound system.

Dr. Alexandra Goncalves
“[Our new tools] provide a unique way of analyzing the heart structure and function with transparency,” said Philips’ Goncalves.

During interventional echo procedures, the system visualizes the morphology of the left atrial appendage (LAA) and automatically measures the ostium. It also automatically assesses the mitral valve and obtains multiple measurements and functional data.

“2020 was a year of innovation with exciting new features for assessment of structural heart disease and procedure guidance,” said Goncalves. “3D techniques have been evolving to provide better visualization, efficient quantification and safe guidance for the challenging structural heart disease procedures.”

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