TopSpin Medical announces first commercial installation of the Cathamaran™ Intravascular System

January 29, 2008 – TEL AVIV, ISRAEL: Topspin Medical, Inc. (TASE: TOPMD) announces first commercial installation of the Cathamaran™ Intravascular MRI System at ZOL Hospital, Genk, Belgium, with the first procedures performed on January 16th.

“We are pleased to be the first site to install the Cathamaran™ IVMRI System. This 6F compatible technology represents a major breakthrough in our ability to detect and quantify lipid present in coronary lesions. We are very excited to be among the first centers to participate in the MIRACLE Study to further evaluate the clinical role for IVMRI in both diagnostic and interventional coronary catheterization procedures. The identification of high risk, lipid -rich lesions that may be prone to rupture is of paramount importance, and the IVMRI System may potentially help address this unmet need,” stated Dr. M. Vrolix from ZOL hospital, Belgium.

Topspin Medical


Medtronic to Begin Clinical Trial of MRI Safe Pacemaker System

The FDA has granted Minneapolis, MN based Medtronic, Inc. approval to start a United States clinical trial to confirm the safety and efficacy of the Medtronic EnRhythm MRI™ SureScan™ pacing system, the first-ever pacemaker system to be developed and tested specifically for safe use in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines under specified scanning conditions.

The EnRhythm MRI SureScan pacing system consists of the dual-chamber EnRhythm MRI™ SureScan™ pacemaker and CapSureFix MRI™ SureScan™ pacing leads (Model 5086MRI). The first implant in the U.S. clinical trial was performed by Brian Ramza, M.D., Ph.D., director of Electrophysiology Laboratory Services at the Mid America Heart Institute, Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.

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Toshiba Receives FDA Clearance for Vantage Titan MR System

TUSTIN, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc., an industry leader in magnetic resonance (MR) technology, announced FDA clearance for the new open-bore 1.5T Vantage Titan™ MR system. With this clearance, Toshiba is on schedule to make the system commercially available in the first quarter of 2008. The open-bore of the Vantage Titan is 18 percent larger than other 1.5T systems on the market, featuring a large 71-centimeter patient aperture.

“Toshiba’s Vantage Titan is now one of the most powerful MR units available with a 30/130 gradient platform,” said Bob Giegerich, director, MR Business Unit, Toshiba. “It is a dramatic improvement over traditional open-bore 1.5T MR systems and offers the largest and widest bore available with a significant reduction in noise.”



Siemens Installs First Mobile Biograph TruePoint PET/CT Scanner

Siemens Healthcare, Molecular Imaging Division recently delivered the first 2 newly redesigned mobile Biograph 6 TruePoint positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) systems to the Florida Radiation Oncology Group (FROG) a division of Integrated Community Oncology Network in Jacksonville.

“PET/CT imaging has become critical in radiation oncology patient management,” said Shyam Paryani, MD, MS, MHA, director of FROG. “Patients will benefit from having these mobile scanners in their communities. They need multiple PET/CT scans throughout the course of treatment and bringing the imaging to them will spare them a multiple-hour drive when they already are in poor health.”

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Low Dose Computed Tomography For The Evaluation Of Flank Pain In The Pregnant Population

UroToday.com- The diagnosis and treatment of the pregnant patient presenting with acute renal colic remain a vexing problem for the urologist. Classically, this has led to an ultrasound study, which if nondiagnostic, led to a 3 shot intravenous urogram. If a stone was present, then one of three approaches was most commonly selected: watchful waiting, ureteral stent placement, or percutaneous nephrostomy. Neither the diagnosis of the condition nor the treatment was truly satisfactory. Ultrasound failed to show a stone in upwards of 50% of patients who had a stone; the subsequent intravenous urogram was also often nondiagnostic. Similarly, treatment with ureteral stent or nephrostomy tube was less than optimal as this approach required changing of the stent or tube every 6-8 weeks during the pregnancy in order to prevent at times, massive encrustation. Today, this has all changed for the better given the advent of low dose CT scanning and ureteroscopy.



PET Scan Shows Brain Differences Among Young And Old When Thirsty

Twelve healthy subjects in their 60s and 70s showed a different pattern of brain activations during thirst and satiation than did 10 healthy subjects in their 20s who drank the same amounts and underwent imaging with positron-emission tomography (PET). Dysfunction in activated neural regions could help explain why older adults show the dangerous tendency toward reduced drinking in response to dehydration.

San Antonio and Australian researchers reported the PET study of thirst in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.



Bridging the Gap in Medical Imaging

January 17, 2008 | Mayo Clinic and IBM have expanded a 2006 collaboration with the creation of the Medical Imaging Informatics Innovation Center (MI3C) on the Mayo Clinic campus. The Center is using an image registration technology developed by Mayo and IBM that produces results 50 times faster than prior technologies. Each organization has devoted three researchers to direct investigations into medical imaging technologies, with the goal of eventually improving the quality of patient care.

"It's difficult to take good ideas and produce products out of them. There is always this intermediate step of: Does that idea pan out in practice?" said Bradley Erickson, chair of Radiology Informatics at Mayo Clinic and a neuro-radiologist.

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St. Jude Medical Announces U.S. Clearance For Cardiac Image Integration Software

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 16, 2008--St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for its EnSite Fusion(TM) Registration Module. The new software will help physicians create detailed heart models to facilitate the diagnosis and delivery of therapy for complex abnormal atrial heart rhythms, including Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

St. Jude Medical's EnSite Fusion software registers, or integrates, an EnSite System-created chamber model with a three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) model so that the physician has an improved view of the heart's anatomy to better guide the delivery of therapy.

St. Jude Medical


Australian Medical Association Calls On Government To Implement GP MRI Policy

The AMA has written to Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, urging her to implement the previous Government’s policy to allow GPs to order Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans for their patients.

Prior to last year’s election, it was announced that GPs would be able to directly refer patients for a Medicare-funded MRI scan of the knee or, where Multiple Sclerosis is suspected, of the brain.

The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) recently advised that the incoming Government has put the GP MRI initiative, which was scheduled to take effect from 1 January 2008, on hold pending a review.

AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said allowing GPs to directly order MRI scans would greatly benefit patients.

Australian Medical Association


GE Healthcare Named Best in PET System Service and Industry Leader by IMV

GE Healthcare announced today that it was once again rated first in Overall Service Performance among vendors for PET and PET/CT service, according to IMV ServiceTrak™, a leading independent third-party research firm and owner of auntminnie.com. This marks GE’s second consecutive year of achieving number one ranking in Overall Service Performance in its PET service business.

“Personalization of service that meets our customer’s specific equipment, department and enterprise needs is at the core of GE Healthcare’s asset management philosophy,” says Mike Swinford, Vice President and General Manager of Diagnostic Imaging and Asset Management Services at GE Healthcare. “While we’re extremely proud of the IMV recognition, we are also humbled by it. Through our own internal customer surveys, we know we have even more improvements to make to deliver the best, most responsive and personal service experience for our customers.”

GE Healthcare


Study Finds CT Scans Are Effective Tool In Detecting Coronary Artery Disease

Computed tomography (CT) angiography is as accurate as an invasive angiogram in detecting coronary artery disease, according to the findings of the first two prospective multicenter 64-slice scanner trials presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

The Coronary Artery Evaluation Using 64-Row Multidetector Computed Tomography Angiography (CORE-64) Trial - conducted by researchers at nine international centers, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - studied 291 patients who were scheduled to undergo invasive coronary angiography for suspected or unknown coronary artery disease. The study found that 64-slice multidetector CT angiography was highly accurate in detecting blockages of greater than 50 percent, with a sensitivity of 85 percent and a specificity of 90 percent. The noninvasive exam was equal in accuracy to invasive angiography in its ability to identify patients to be referred for angioplasty or bypass surgery.



Improved Computed Tomography System Marketed

Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health, together with the University of Oregon, USA have developed a new image reconstruction system for computed tomography that produces greater image quality at a lower radiation dose compared with standard systems. With the help of Ascenion GmbH, a licensing agreement has been closed with YXLON International Group Holding GmbH, the market leader in industrial X-ray and computed tomography solutions for non-destructive material testing. YXLON will use and market the new system exclusively for commercial applications in material testing. The German Research Center for Environmental Health and the University of Oregon receive a down payment and a share of future sales revenue.



Improved Medical Imaging, Drug Development May Result From Radioactive 'Understudy'

Broadway stars have understudies. Now, an increasingly popular radioactive isotope has its own stand-in. Developed in part by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the substance might ultimately improve medical imaging, speed up clinical trials of many drugs and facilitate efforts to develop more individualized medical treatment.

The number of medical images obtained through the technique known as positron emission tomography (PET) is increasing at a rate of 20 percent a year - and this has correspondingly increased the use of fluorine-18, the radioactive isotope of choice in the vast majority of PET procedures. Injected into the bloodstream while bound to "carrier" molecules, fluorine-18 lights up the body during PET scans to perform such jobs as revealing tumors, monitoring heart activity and determining which regions of the brain are active during certain tasks.



Study Determines Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging Has Higher Specificity Than MRI In Patients With Equivocal Mammograms

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., -- Recently published study results in The Breast Journal indicate that Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) may be more specific than MRI for evaluating patients with equivocal mammographic findings. The study, compiled by Dr. Rachel Brem and colleagues at The George Washington University Medical Center, compared the use of BSGI and MRI for women with an indeterminate mammogram. Standard procedure requires women with an indeterminate mammogram to have additional clinical work-ups.

According to Dr. Brem, Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) -- nuclear medicine imaging of the breast -- is a physiologic approach to breast imaging. BSGI uses a high-resolution gamma camera and Tc-Sestamibi. Previous patient examinations demonstrated high-resolution cameras to be superior to conventional gamma imaging for both detecting breast cancer and screening high-risk patients.

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PET scanner emerges as premier cancer tracker

St. Louis Post-Dispatch......The device, called a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, is similar to MRI scanners but uses radioactivity instead of X-rays to create images of blood flowing through organs, brain activity and other processes.

New research from the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University show that PET scans are more accurate than any other method at predicting the aggressiveness of a cervical cancer tumor. The device also effectively shows whether treatments had destroyed the cancer.

Previously, doctors had no way to determine whether radiation or other therapies were working until a patient experienced symptoms or another tumor was found.

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Brain imaging explores pain

A SURGEON at an Oxford hospital is looking at why some arthritis patients get more pain than others.

Stephen Gwilym, of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, in Windmill Road, Headington, has won £201,460 for research using brain imaging to understand the pain associated with hip arthritis.

His three-year study - the first of its kind in the world - could explain why some people suffer from the condition more than others and are, therefore, more likely to need joint replacement operations.



CT scans implicated in 2% of cancers

A recent study estimates that between 1.5% and 2% of all cancers can be attributed to radiation from the 62 million computed tomography scans Americans get each year. The finding comes on the heels of earlier, similar risk estimates, and it has some experts saying physicians should think twice about ordering the test.

The review article in the Nov. 29, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine arrives at its estimate by examining the cancer effects on the 25,000 Japanese who survived the 1945 atomic bombs and received radiation doses equivalent to the x-rays emitted by several CT scans.


MRI Techniques Could Potentially Replace Liver Biopsy

MRI imagery is emerging as a non-invasive way to determine the existence and extent of hepatic fibrosis. It could eventually help the development of pharmacologic strategies to combat the condition. These findings are in the January issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience.

Currently, the best way to assess hepatic fibrosis is liver biopsy; however, it is an invasive procedure that can cause serious side effects. Researchers have been studying less invasive techniques, such as blood tests and imaging strategies like ultrasound, but so far, they have not proven sensitive enough to detect the various stages of fibrosis.



MRI techniques evolving towards better assessment of liver fibrosis

MRI imagery is emerging as a non-invasive way to determine the existence and extent of hepatic fibrosis. It could eventually help the development of pharmacologic strategies to combat the condition. These findings are in the January issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology).

Currently, the best way to assess hepatic fibrosis is liver biopsy; however, it is an invasive procedure that can cause serious side effects. Researchers have been studying less invasive techniques, such as blood tests and imaging strategies like ultrasound, but so far, they have not proven sensitive enough to detect the various stages of fibrosis.

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