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Philips Announces World's Smallest Multiplane Transesophageal Transducer

by Rabia Paracha, Staff Reporter | June 05, 2009
An ultrasound advance
in imaging tiny patients
Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) has introduced its microTEE, the world's smallest transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) transducer for cardiac imaging of neonatal patients, according to the company. As part of the latest Vision release for the Philips iE33 intelligent echocardiography system, the microTEE transducer provides pediatric cardiologists with a diagnostic tool for imaging the hearts of newborn patients. Philips microTEE will be showcased next week at the 20th annual American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) in Washington, D.C. and will be available for sale globally this summer.

Due to the larger size of previously available pediatric TEE transducers, small babies have been impossible to image during critical cardiac catheterization or surgical procedures. As a result, high-risk procedures have been done routinely on these tiny patients without transesophageal echocardiography images available to the interventionalist or surgeon.

"The microTEE probe is a major advance in our ability to provide intra-operative cardiac imaging in newborn babies and infants," said Dr. Girish Shirali, M.D., director of pediatric echocardiography at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children's Hospital. "We are delighted with the image quality, and the miniaturization of the probe has already proven invaluable to our pediatric interventionalists in high-risk cath lab procedures. Finally, our smallest and sickest patients can be imaged intra-operatively just like everyone else."

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Building on Philips' existing 2D technology, the microTEE transducer is roughly one-third the size of previous pediatric TEE transducers, allowing physicians to 'turn on the lights' for the first time for their tinier patients and providing the images they need during interventional procedures. Available globally in summer 2009, the new microTEE is also entering trials for adult patients requiring TEE imaging but who have difficulty tolerating standard TEE probes.

"We developed the microTEE in order to help even the smallest patients," said Anne LeGrand, senior vice president and general manager, ultrasound, for Philips Healthcare.

"MicroTEE is the latest in a series of industry 'firsts' offered on our iE33 premium cardiovascular platform. We continue to invest heavily in the iE33 to provide innovative, validated solutions that fulfill physicians' needs and provide enhanced patient care.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of $38 billion in 2008, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.