Sunday, April 28, 2013

Congratulation For A Collegue

Congrats to Scott Dulchavsky, M.D., Ph.D From Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for training many astronauts to do ultrasound on the ISS.  I have met the man myself when I was up in Detroit to deliver an ultrasound lecture at Henry Ford. Nice work.  The picture to the left features the Philips U/S machine (Not working now), and Scott's software in the little window to the left.  GE Medical Systems sent a new device up on the last mission to replace the Philips equipment.  We all still love Phillips ultrasound machines though.  Bless both companies.  Here is the link.

"Dr. Dulchavsky is among seven people to be inducted at the 29th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The Space Technology Hall of Fame recognizes technologies and innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth.
Dr. Dulchavsky is being honored as the principle investigator for the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) experiment, a collaboration among Henry Ford Hospital, Johnson Space Center and Wyle Laboratories Inc.
He led a team that used small, portable ultrasound devices to train astronauts aboard the International Space Station from 2003-2005 so they could obtain a wide variety of diagnostic-quality medical images transmitted by satellite to the ground where radiologists can read them. The experiment showed the effectiveness of using ultrasound as a remote diagnostic tool and sending image quality scans over long distances.
Since then, Dr. Dulchavsky has worked with the Detroit Red Wings to test the technology. A portable ultrasound device was placed in the team’s locker room and connected to an ultrasound workstation at Henry Ford Hospital, where a radiologist guided Red Wings trainers to perform ultrasound tests on a shoulder, ankle, knee, hand and foot and to send the images for diagnosis."

Thanks Sonoworld and Henry Ford

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shocking The Heart To Recovery?

An interesting article I pulled up from the Google monster this morning which discusses a method of repairing the heart in patients who suffer from chronic heart failure due to death of the myocytes. The method involves shocking the heart with ultrasound of sufficient strength to cause the heart to send out a call for help.  An infusion of bone marrow cells gathered from the patient hurry to the rescue to help form new myocytes.  This is really a good read.

One theory on the limited results for heart failure is that patients' bone marrow cells are not retained in the heart for a long enough time.
So in the new study, German researchers first "pre-treated" patients with so-called shock wave therapy, which applies high-dose ultrasound to the chest. For patients, the experience is similar to having a diagnostic ultrasound of the heart, said senior researcher Dr. Andreas Zeiher, of Goethe University in Frankfurt.
One day after the shock wave therapy, patients' hearts were infused with a dose of their own bone marrow cells.
The idea, Zeiher explained, is that the shock waves might spur the heart to churn out chemicals that attract more bone marrow cells to the damaged portion of heart muscle.
After four months, his team found, there was a 3 percent increase in the patients' left ventricular ejection fraction -- the percentage of blood pushed out of the heart with each contraction.
That's a "decent" improvement, said Dr. Eduardo Marban, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. And it's possible it could translate into long-term benefits -- like a lower risk of a repeat heart attack or longer life, according to Marban.

Thanks WebMD

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Echocardiography And Positions (Information For Students)

I often get asked why an echocardiogram is so detailed.  I will be succinct   I want the best possible believable information possible.  What does that mean?  We sonographers are taught to never believe anything we see on an ultrasound test unless we see it in two orthogonal planes.  I preach this to my students.  I never say a patient has a mitral valve vegetation unless I see it in at least 2 planes.  I am still wary.  I am the doubting Thomas.  I am pleased to say most of my students become extremely aware of the hazards of calling a lesion, or missing one.  We echocardiographers are meticulous and very much detail minded.  The complete trans-thoracic echocardiogram is a work of meticulous art.  It is very much a profession, but it is redundant for good reasons.  We want to do the best possible job to enable the cardiologist to make an accurate diagnosis if possible, thus the many positions that are displayed in video clips.  I hope this helps you wonderful people who are striving to become registered echocardiographers.  Please, become registered.

Here are some links:

Echo views:

Registries:  I am certified with this agency

Cardiovascular Credentialing International:

If you need education, contact me by E-mail.  I have been an ultrasound teacher for 13 years.

Take the profession seriously.  Get registered.

Peace, Gizz

Cardiologists New Stethescope

News?  Not really.  Cardiologists are increasingly using ultrasound as a screening tool in the office instead of a stethoscope.  Darn.  I though all cardiologist were taught heart sounds (They still are).  When I visit my Doctor he listens to my heart, which is part of the routine visit.  The quintessential image of a doctor with a stethoscope wrapped around his neck in a starched lab jacket is still a comforting image for the sick ( most of the time unless you have white coat paranoia).  Nowadays, doctors and their sonographers are screening patients with ultrasound. I think it is a great idea, as long as the person doing the test is properly trained.  Training is key.  Ask your health care professional if they are trained in the proper use of ultrasound before they put the probe on you.  Just some sage words because not all health care professionals are properly trained to use ultrasound properly.  Here is an article that discusses the cardiology aspect.

SAN FRANCISCO – Handheld ultrasound proved "vastly superior" to physical examination conducted by cardiologists for the evaluation of a variety of cardiovascular complaints in a head-to-head prospective trial.
All 250 study participants underwent a clinically indicated standard 2-D and Doppler transthoracic echocardiography exam. But first they received an initial clinical assessment with both a point-of-care, handheld ultrasound scan and a physical exam performed by randomly assigned cardiologists who had widely varying degrees of experience. The cardiologists’ physical exam took an average of 5 minutes, while the limited ultrasound evaluation performed with the commercially available VScan device took a mean of 8.2 minutes, Dr. Manish Mehta reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

Thanks Family Practice News

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ultrasound In The Home? (Editorial)

A nice article on Sonoworld suggests ultrasound will be a machine that we liken to a thermometer soon.  I doubt it.  I am an old world sonographer, and it takes many years to master the techniques of sonography.  It is interesting to note that many people are taking medical matters into their own hands.  Ultrasound is not something you buy at a Walmart and use on your husband, wife, or child without training.  Education on the part of the patient is a great thing.  Diabetics must educate themselves regarding the disease that affects them as an example.  Ultrasound machines are not simple devices.

It is an article with merit.  I agree that we should take certain medical matters in our own hands instead of clogging up the ED's with sniffles and common complaints that can be handled with common sense.  I am not sure that medical ultrasound machines should be sold to the common consumer with no education in medicine.  I see many lawsuits occurring with this mind set. Ultrasound machines are great, but it takes education to use them correctly.  My 2 cents.  Peace.  Here is the link.

Thanks Sonoworld and Brendon

Will ultrasound come to our homes?

by Brendon Nafziger , DOTmed News Associate Editor
In the next 20 years, will ordinary people own small, cheap ultrasound units in their home, which they'll use to give themselves check-ups for chronic diseases or to gather data and beam it to a doctor's office? It's possible, says a leading expert. 

Paul Carson, a professor of radiological sciences at the University of Michigan who delivered a lecture on Sunday at the AIUM annual conference in Midtown Manhattan, believes ultrasound has the chance to be the dominant imaging modality.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

HIFU Update

High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has been the subject of a few of my posts for good reason:  It has promise.  And now those promises are flowering into reality.  Money has been donated to new research centers dedicated to exploring the many values of this non-surgical technique used to to treat everything from cancer to Parkinson's disease.  Here is an article showcasing one such center.

Every once in a while, a technology comes along that revolutionizes medicine. Sometimes, it just takes a while to recognize its impact. In 1970, for instance, Neal Kassell saw a CT scan for the first time.
"I thought it had no future," laughs the 67-year-old UVA neurosurgeon. "I was wrong."
Kassell was certain he was right, however, when, about eight years ago, he conceived of treating and even curing previously untreatable conditions using ultrasound technology.
"I've been doing research since 1962, and I finally had the Nobel Prize-winning idea," Kassell recalls with a smile. "I got home and went to the internet, and discovered it indeed is a Nobel Prize-winning idea– it just wasn't mine."
Thanks Sonoworld