Dave Fornell, DAIC Editor

Dave Fornell, editor of DAIC Magazine

Blog | Dave Fornell, DAIC Editor | June 29, 2015

Trends and Advances in Echocardiography at ASE 2015

Here are a few observations on cardiovascular ultrasound advances I made while attending the 2015 American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) annual meeting in June:

1. Use of ultrasound as a new revascularization therapy, not just imaging.

2. Advancement of automation/artificial intelligence on new systems.

3.  The continued rise of interventional echocardiography.

4. New methods to diagnose disease using novel types of image analysis.

For an overview of new technology on the expo floor, watch the video "Editor's Choice of Most Innovative Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologies at ASE 2015."

The concept of using ultrasound lipid bubble contrast agents to help revascularize patients has been discussed in concept for the past several years at both ASE and the International Contrast Ultrasound Society "Bubble Conference." This year at ASE, it was one of the top news items, with the presentation of a study of how ultrasound with echo contrast can be used to help treat blood clots and restore some blood flow, including STEMI heart attack patients prior to and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The concept also applies to deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and ischemic stroke.  

The bubbles are allowed to accumulate on a clot and then ultrasound pulses are used to break the bubbles. The cavitation of the bursting bubbles breaks up the clots on a microscopic level and creates micro-channels for blood flow. This action might be further enhanced with contrast bubbles containing thrombolytic agents, allowing for targeted drug delivery. Additional presentations explained how contrast bubbles might be engineered for targeted gene, stem cell or drug delivery to other areas of the body. One method is to coat the bubbles with agents that will bind to specific types of tissue being targeted. Another method is to just pulse ultrasound into the anatomy where you want to deliver drugs, genes or stem cells. The bubble cavitation causes tiny ruptures in capillaries, enabling delivery of agents through vessel walls. Watch a video interview how ultrasound can deliver therapy.

A large number of ASE sessions and the front-and-center technologies in the GE, Philips and Siemens expo booths were aimed at the new subspecialty of interventional echo. Transesophageal echo (TEE) has enabled the visualization of many new interventional structural heart procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), MitraClip, left atrial appendage (LAA) occlusion and septal defect closures. It also will play a large role in new transcatheter mitral valve replacement and repair technologies in development. The emphasis at ASE was on the key role the echocardiographer plays in the heart team approach used in these procedures. Watch video overview of TEE use in the cath lab.  Watch video on the state of interventional echo with Rebecca Hahn, M.D.

As computing and transducer power continues to increase, enabling the gathering and processing of more data, it allows new ways to image the heart. Hitachi-Aloka demonstrated software that looks at the fluid dynamics of flood inside the heart called vector imaging. It is believed that examination of changes in the way blood flows through valves and the chambers may help in earlier diagnosis of some conditions prior to clinical presentation. Vendors and researchers also showed new software to analyze changes in wall motion, ventricular shape and tissue elasticity that might be used as new measures to diagnose certain cardiac conditions. Watch video on new types of echo image software analysis

As computing and transducer power continues to increase, enabling the gathering and processing of more data, it allows new ways to image the heart. Hitachi-Aloka demonstrated software that looks at the fluid dynamics of blood inside the heart called vector imaging. It is believed that examination of changes in the way blood flows through valves and the chambers may help in earlier diagnosis of some conditions prior to clinical presentation. Vendors and researchers also showed new software to analyze changes in wall motion, ventricular shape and tissue elasticity that might be used as new measures to diagnose certain cardiac conditions. Watch video on new types of echo image software analysis

To learn about other advances in echocardiography, watch the video "New Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologies - ASE 2015."

Related Content

Fujifilm SonoSite Launches New Point-of-Care Ultrasound Educational Resources
News | Ultrasound Imaging | November 01, 2018
Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. announced the launch of its redesigned SonoSite Institute, a comprehensive online educational...
Canon Medical Launches Healthy Sonographer Program
News | Ultrasound Imaging | October 10, 2018
Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. launched an all-new program designed to help reduce the leading causes of pain and...
Fujifilm SonoSite Unveils SonoSite Synchronicity Ultrasound Workflow Solution
Technology | Ultrasound Imaging | October 04, 2018
Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. announced its entry into the medical informatics space with the launch of a robust point-of-care...
GE Healthcare Expands Collaboration With SonoSim for Ultrasound Education
News | Ultrasound Imaging | October 02, 2018
October 2, 2018 — GE Healthcare announced an equity investment in SonoSim, which specializes in...
Clarius Reveals Wireless Cart-Based Ultrasound System at ACEP 2018
News | Ultrasound Imaging | September 28, 2018
Clarius Mobile Health is introducing the Clarius Cart at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) 2018...
Healcerion Receives FDA Approval for Sonon 300L Handheld Ultrasound Device
Technology | Ultrasound Imaging | July 09, 2018
South Korea-based Healcerion launched the Sonon 300L wireless handheld ultrasound device to the U.S. market following U...
Esaote Change of Ownership Completed
News | Ultrasound Imaging | April 30, 2018
The acquisition of biomedical equipment company Esaote SpA’s share capital was completed on April 19, the company...
Philips Integrates Reacts Tele-Ultrasound Platform on Lumify Portable Systems

Image courtesy of Philips Healthcare

News | Ultrasound Imaging | March 30, 2018
Philips in partnership with Innovative Imaging Technologies (IIT) announced an industry-first integrated tele-...
Toshiba Medical Rolls Out Interactive Learning Tools for Ultrasound and Vascular Training
News | Ultrasound Imaging | December 04, 2017
Toshiba Medical, a Canon Group company, introduced new educational tools and interactive learning resources to help...
Toshiba Medical's Portable Ultrasound Used in Second Pediatric Mission in Tanzania
News | Ultrasound Imaging | October 05, 2017
October 5, 2017 — To provide lifesaving surgical care for sick children in one of the most underserved countries, 13
Overlay Init