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Ultrasound Homepage

Could a Band-Aid-sized $100 ultrasound transducer be coming soon? Researchers are optimistic, as image quality matches or exceeds conventional systems

Philips to manage medical imaging equipment for Aussie providers for 20 years First-of-its-kind partnership in Australia and ASEAN Pacific region

Purdue research groups enhancing medical imaging with optical innovations Developing optical ultrasound and 3D printed, optical phantoms

Olympus enters separate collabs on endoscopic ultrasound and 3D surgery Partners with Hitachi Healthcare Americas and FlexDex

Philips unveils new ultrasounds for general and interventional cardiology Equipped with anatomical intelligence

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FDA greenlights focused ultrasound trial for Alzheimer's treatment Involves temporarily opening the blood-brain barrier

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Healcerion gets FDA nod for wireless ultrasound SONON 300L is 1/10th the cost of traditional systems

All-optical ultrasound could pave way for combined MR-ultrasound imaging Three orders of magnitude faster than current optical systems

Wireless, handheld spinal ultrasound takes the guesswork out of epidural needle placement

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
Two recent studies demonstrate the effectiveness of a portable ultrasound device to improve patient satisfaction and anesthesia workflow in placing epidural anesthesia blocks.

A Stanford University Medical Center study team found that the Rivanna Accuro automatic spinal navigation system identified the appropriate interspace for needle insertion in 94 percent of patients, and enabled first-attempt epidural placements in 87 percent of patients.

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The most recent Stanford study will soon be published in Anesthesia & Analgesia. Another study conducted at the University of Virginia Medical Center yielded similar findings. The UVA study was published earlier this year in Investigative Radiology.

“The device may improve patient care by decreasing the amount of time it takes to place an epidural and decreasing the number of attempts it takes to place an epidural,” Brendan Carvalho, FRCA, chief, Obstetric Anesthesia at Stanford told HCB News. “Pre-procedure ultrasound and epidural depth estimates may also improve the safety of labor epidurals by reducing block failures, decreasing traumatic placements, avoiding unnecessarily high epidural insertions and potentially decreasing accidental dural punctures.”

According to Will Mauldin, Ph.D., CEO of Rivanna, which developed the Accuro, without the device, up to 80 percent of first-attempt epidural needle placements fail. He said the device allows the anesthesia provider to more quickly and reliably implement neuraxial ultrasound. The studies found that the device functioned well on both obese patients and those with atypical spinal anatomy.

“Over a decade of clinical evidence and recent meta-analyses have revealed that neuraxial ultrasound, in the hands of expert users, improves success rates, reduces needle sticks, and improves safety,” said Mauldin. “However, performing neuraxial ultrasound with conventional machines is challenging, and studies show that using it competently requires a steep learning curve. Furthermore, accessibility of standard ultrasound equipment can be limiting.”

He explained that the Accuro device has proprietary technologies that overcome these limitations. Lightweight, portable, and untethered, Accuro weighs less than three-fourths of a pound, and can be used with single-handed operation.

According to Mauldin, the SpineNav3D software automates image interpretation providing instantaneous epidural location and depth. BoneEnhance image reconstruction produces images of bone landmarks that are easier to interpret, compared to images generated by conventional ultrasound systems.
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