Daily Bulletin 2015

Unveiling Innovations on the RSNA Show Floor

Tuesday, Dec. 01, 2015

GE Healthcare among Those Providing Keys to Our Future

Visitors to the RSNA 2015 Technical Exhibits will quickly learn "Innovation is the Key to our Future" after exploring the new technology and industry advances featured by exhibiting companies.

Spread across almost half a million square feet, nearly 700 companies are demonstrating products and services that healthcare professionals at the 51st—or even the 81st—annual meeting would have never dreamed of.

New innovations on the show floor make it possible for radiologists to collect and analyze data with a level of detail never imagined. Some of those advances enhance the patient experience and others open up opportunities for more significant—and quicker—data analysis in realms not previously conceived. Quicker is key in world where data available to radiologists has increased more than 100-fold in the last decade.

Among them is GE Healthcare's ViosWorks*. ViosWorks seeks to help solve several cardiac MR challenges at once. MRI provides valuable clinical data for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, yielding comprehensive markers of cardiovascular health including cardiac anatomy, function and quantitative blood flow. However, the traditional cardiac exam is lengthy and complicated to perform. This complexity stems from challenges of current cardiac MR technology, which restrict the operator to collecting two-dimensional slices through three-dimensional hearts, with each slice typically acquired in a patient breath-hold. In order to complete a full clinical exam, patients may be asked to hold their breath over 20 times during an hour-long exam, a difficult task in patients who are ill, aging or—in the case of congenital heart disease—young.

Moreover, proper planning of 2D slice orientations to intersect the anatomy of interest requires a high level of operator expertise and often requires close supervision by a clinician to ensure all required data is collected before the patient is removed.

With GE Healthcare's new ViosWorks technology being introduced at RSNA 2015, you address both problems at once, said Anja Brau, Ph.D., GE Healthcare's global director for MR cardiac imaging.

ViosWorks delivers a three-dimensional spatial and velocity-encoded dataset at every time point during the cardiac cycle, yielding high resolution, time-resolved images of the beating heart and a measure of the speed and direction of blood flow at each location. With this free-breathing scan, typically acquired in less than 10 minutes, ViosWorks can simultaneously provide key elements of a cardiac MR exam: anatomy, function and flow.

This provides four advantages. First, the exam is simplified for the patient by using a single 3D free-breathing scan. Second, the error-prone and time-consuming aspect of slice positioning is removed.

"This means every operator becomes capable to conduct the exam without being a cardiac expert" Brau said. "Now the technologist simply prescribes a three-dimensional volume, and the work is done. The relevant cardiac planes can be interrogated retrospectively from the resulting ViosWorks 7D dataset,"

Third, co-registered anatomic images provide the ability to assess cardiac function in 3D and contextualize flow abnormalities. As a result, the cardiac exam can be reduced from over 60 minutes to 10 minutes or less.

Finally, new algorithms allow large datasets unimaginable before to be evaluated in real-time via the cloud based Arterys software. Arterys visualization is designed to significantly reduce the amount of time spent on data processing and bring new visualization routines to life. "If we can bring cardiac exam times down," Brau said, "that's going to impact not only the patient, but everybody involved in this procedure."

*ViosWorks not yet commercially available

Question of the Day:

I want to change the MR imaging parameters for a new protocol based on a research paper I read, but the console says the SAR is too high. What is SAR?

Tip of the day:

Patients who have many follow-up head CTs should be assessed for dose to the eyes as they swiftly become at risk for cataracts.

The RSNA 2015 Daily Bulletin is owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc., 820 Jorie Blvd., Oak Brook, IL 60523.