Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Trials Attempt To Bring Ultrasound Contrast to America (Again)

As many of you know, I am a big fan of contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS).  The United States FDA has limited its use to echocardiography. CEUS has been used safely for many other procedures in other countries for several years.  There are several issues at play as to why the USA is lagging behind other countries in this area of diagnostic ultrasound.  I won't go into them all except to say that a few years ago CEUS got a bad rap here for being falsely implicated in some patient deaths.  A new endeavor is currently in the works to establish some trials in America with the goal of identifying safe, and effective means of providing useful information in other goal-directed studies including identification of some liver and kidney masses to name but a couple.  Europe has been using CEUS for some time now to differentiate liver masses in terms of cancerous versus benign hyper-plastic lesions, and with great results.  I think it is time we set politics aside, and do some good research that may allow us Americans access to affordable, and safe alternatives to other expensive diagnostic solutions such as CT and MRI.  Here is a link to an article I saw on Aunt Minnie this morning. 
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The lack of approval of radiology ultrasound contrast in the U.S. has long stuck in the craw of the technology's advocates. But clinical trials are now moving forward with hopes of rectifying the situation, according to a presentation at the annual Leading Edge in Diagnostic Ultrasound conference.   http://www.auntminnie.com/index.asp?Sec=sup&Sub=ult&Pag=dis&ItemId=90583&wf=3735
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