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Toshiba unveils fourth generation contrast-free imaging technique

Toshiba America Medical Systems : 15 November, 2007  (New Product)
Toshiba America Medical Systems has unveiled a fourth generation contrast-free imaging technique, Time and Space Angiography (TSA).
Adding to the range of contrast-free techniques from Toshiba, TSA creates images that show dynamic blood flow without using contrast agents.

As the first medical imaging company to introduce advanced contrast-free MRA techniques, Toshiba is further expanding the capabilities and safety of MRA imaging.

TSA will have a variety of clinical benefits to improve both diagnostic confidence and patient care and safety. TSA builds upon the pioneering Time-Spatial Labelling Inversion Pulse technique (Time-SLIP) and is especially desirable for patients with compromised circulations and renal flow problems. The technique features a high temporal resolution and a continually changing inversion pulse time, creating dynamic images showing blood flow in motion.

In patients with symptoms of stroke, TSA is able to show blood flow into the brain and clearly display the area being impeded, which aids physicians in faster, more accurate diagnosis. For neurologists, the use of TSA will enable the diagnosis of cerebral spinal fluid diseases non-invasively.

'We have been at the forefront of contrast-free imaging, offering our customers safe, contrast-free techniques that capture images equal to, and in many cases superior to, images captured using contrast,' said Bob Giegerich, director, MR Business Unit, Toshiba. 'We are fully committed to Patient safety and continue to create new contrast-free MRA techniques that are advancing the industry. As more information is disseminated about the dangers of gadolinium-based contrast agents, it is crucial to have viable contrast-free techniques available.'

Gadolinium-based contrast agents, commonly used in MRA, have been directly linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, also known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD), a sometimes fatal disease that occurs in patients with renal insufficiency. According to a recent study by rheumatologists at Massachusetts General Hospital1, NSF cases could reach epidemic proportions.

The study found that NSF affected 30 percent of haemodialysis patients who were exposed to gadolinium during an MR exam. Previous studies had estimated only a two to five percent incidence for developing NSF after receiving gadolinium.

Available on all Toshiba Vantage MR systems, TSA builds upon and adds to the suite of Toshiba's proprietary, contrast-free MRA techniques including Fresh Blood Imaging (FBI), Contrast-free Improved Angiography (CIA) and Time-Spatial Labelling Inversion Pulse (Time-SLIP).
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