Friday, June 5, 2009

In Other News..

WOW, summer is upon us. Where did this year go? I finally have some office time in between catching planes and avoiding catching the swine flu so here are some things I need to post.

First off, this blog has been honored by being listed on "Top 50 Radiology and Sonography Technician Blogs". I am indeed honored. Thank you so much Suzane.

Next I would like to mention that I am a member of the International Contrast Ultrasound Society.
"As the world’s only professional society exclusively devoted to contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) medical imaging technology, we at ICUS hope to bring together professionals from form around the world in the fields of cardiology, radiology, vascular medicine, gastro-intestinal medicine, oncology, and other medical specialties." I would encourage all ultrasound professionals to become a member and support efforts to encourage the American FDA to allow ultrasound contrast agents to be used in applications other than echocardiography. <

Sonoworld has some great new video lectures devoted to ultrasound contrast. William R. Lees, MD "Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound in the Abdomen" is a four part lecture that I watched this morning. It is very well done, and introduces us to CEUS in the abdomen, and other anatomical areas. It includes some discussion regarding the physics of ultrasound contrast, and some of the great applications being used in many other countries. This lecture centers around it's use in categorizing liver lesions, and compares the ultrasound findings to CT and MRI. Certainly the FDA is interested in bringing down the cost of health care without sacrificing quality? Sonoworld has many more lectures on a variety of subjects.

I would also like to announce that The Advanced Health Education Center has started a YOUTUBE channel for health care providors including sonographers. AHEC (my employer) will be posting videos and links in the future of interest to all medical imaging specialists. You can see the channel here:

You can also link up to AHEC for CME's

Peace, Gizz

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ultrasound and Big Brother

Sorry folk's...The image to the left is a CT scan of a fish sandwich in the box from the local burger joint. I had to post the picture because it is so cool! If you have been keeping up with medical technology lately, you may have noticed we have some pretty cool medical image devices available to look into to the human body. So what does that have to do with the title of this post? Well, as we all know the new administration has promised an over-haul in the medical business. They promise health care will be available and affordable to all Americans. America is famous for using the latest technology in our hospitals and clinics. Some would argue we over utilize the most expensive scanners. I feel like ultrasound is going to profit from the lean times ahead because it is a very useful and cost effective modality.
Further more, ultrasound is being used in more and more ways to benefit the patient, and saving money at the same time. Here is a snippet from Daniel Merton's excellent article regarding the future of ultrasound: "Since its introduction in the 1950s, diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) has experienced periods of rapid technological advances that spurred intense growth in its clinical utilization. However, for the past several years it seems like the modality has fallen out of favor with imaging professionals-namely radiologists who prefer reviewing films in a dimly lit reading room over holding a transducer-as well as referring physicians who have become more reliant on the diagnostic potentials of MRI and CT."

Stay tuned for more on this subject.
Peace, Gizz

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Struggle Continues

As we move into the this new year it is interesting to note that the FDA is still grinding it's heels over the ultrasound contrast issue here in the USA. AIUM just wrapped up it's meeting and I will post some highlights:

"Contrast-enhanced ultrasound was a much-talked about topic at the event since it holds great promise. "At the moment, we do have a problem in the U.S. The FDA has approved only two agents for cardiac microbubbles," Dr. Kurtz said. He noted that clinical opinion leaders are talking to the FDA through a multi-specialty task force with vendors to urge further approvals. "The world has access to ultrasound contrast agents; we [in the U.S.] have only limited access," he said, noting its applicability to examining the spleen, liver, and vascular anatomy. Meanwhile, elastography has recently been developed and is being refined to enhance characterization of tumor tissue, also a method applicable to examining liver disease such as chronic hepatitis."

I hope the FDA can come to it's senses pretty soon. The rest of the world embraces ultrasound contrast media. Why can't we?