Dave Fornell is the editor of Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiology magazine and assistant editor for Imaging Technology News magazine.
Echo Images Processed for CT-Like Image Quality at ACC 2011
At the American College of Cardology (ACC) 2010, Ziosoft unveiled its Phyziodynamic advanced visualization software, which uses super-computing algorithms to convert computed tomography (CT) data sets of a full cardiac cycle into crystal-clear, color cine loops. These loops can be fully manipulated, rotating on any axis, and can be sliced through so the heart is in motion, showing true anatomical function that only previously would be seen by surgeons working on beating hearts. One of the keys to the software is its filtering ability to remove about 95 percent or more of noise that can obscure areas with artifacts.
This technology is now being applied to cardiac ultrasound (echo) 3-D volumes, and the first examples were demonstrated as a works-in-progress at ACC 2011. On clear volume acquisitions, the software can create false color 3-D images and 4-D cine loops that are nearly as sharp and detailed as a CT scan. Similar to the Phyziodynamic CT images, moving cine loops can be manipulated with rotation and sliced from any angle with simple mouse navigation. The technology can be used to enhance previously acquired or archived 3-D echo volumes.
At ACC, I was able to compare the enhanced Ziosoft echo images with the state-of-the-art, high-end 3-D/4-D echo systems offered by several key vendors. While the quality of the images provided by the vendors’ systems is superb, this new technology being pioneered by Ziosoft may be able to bring echo on par with CT image quality in the near future. With major trends to reduce patient radiation dose and an increasing use of ultrasound, this technology is definitely one to watch.