Tecnological advances

Over the years, diagnostic imaging has gone through a number of technological innovations. From this point of view the liveliest sector has undoubtedly been that of ultrasounds: the appearance of high-performance microprocessors and especially the introduction of digital beam formers led to the digital reconstruction of images while preserving all information contained within tissues and markedly improving the spatial, contrast and details resolution in a way that was not possible before.

The signal transmission process also made a major step forward thanks to the new probes which with their new piezoelectric materials have improved electromechanical couppling coeficients; we now have multi-layer probes, matrix probes and probes with special focusing lenses. Moreover the advent of new image reception processes has made it possible to recontruct images using not only fundamental echoes but also harmonic echoes coming form tissues or from the micro-bubbles contained in the contrast medium injected in the blood stream.

Different systems have been put onto the market that enable reading harmonic imaging both through a static and a dynamic representation and the use of Doppler signal combined to the grey scale. As for image recontruction, there is now the possibility to obtain the equalization of the ultrasound response spanning the whole imaging field and to have representations captured from different observation or acquisition points with an extension of the field of view and 3D/4D reconstruction.

Computerized Tomography has made a major step forward with the introduction of new spiral and/or multi-slice CT units. This resulted in a reduction of scanning time and the possibility to obtain high-definition studies of organs in motion, like the heart, and of difficult patients like those with multiple traumas and the elderly.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging has extended its field of application to include new organs and diseases; all of which was possible thanks to the introduction of new fast sequences, the use of organ-specific contrast media, the availlability of open systems and the development of new coils that provide a better rendering of gradients.

The new machines have brought about new MR-guided surgical and interventional procedures.
The advent of Digital Imaging also means that images of ultasounds and other imaging-based techniques can now be stored and transfered using PACS (Picture Archiving and Comunication Systems) systems.
The DICOM standard has made imaging processing easier. For ultasounds, information transfer requires the compression of scanning frames; to this purpose the JPEG, MJPEG, MPEG and Wavelet formats are the ones that allow the operator to preserve dynamic information.

This section of the website will report impressions and opinions of medical users about the advantages offered by recent technogical advances.

Contrast media imaging: introduction to new solution

Contrast media imaging: introduction to new solution

Contrast media imaging: introduction to new solution