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Taking Vascular Disease Screening Further via Ultrasound

A Growing, Silent Threat

Image courtesy of the Circulation Foundation

Vascular disease is a serious and growing issue throughout the world. In the United Kingdom, vascular disease alone accounts for nearly 40% of all deaths there, making it nearly as common as cancer and heart disease. In the United States of America it is the 5th leading cause of death.

Vascular disease can come in many forms and it is often due to the buildup of plaque because of the deposits of fat, cholesterol and other substances within the blood vessels, veins or arteries. It is also known for leading to strokes and aneurysms.

A New Way of Seeing the Vascular System

In the United Kingdom, Independent Vascular Services (IVS), an independent UK company that provides clinical services as well as vascular ultrasound departments for the National Health Service (NHS), is working with a group of researchers from the University of Manchester who are endeavoring to prevent and treat vascular diseases. Together these researchers are finding a new and innovative way to detect and diagnose vascular diseases early on and when needed, guide surgical intervention.

Independent Vascular Services (IVS)

Part of the University Hospital of South Manchester. Image courtesy of the Internet

With the support of Mindray’s Resona 7 and its advanced blood flow detection capabilities paired with a Piur Imaging’s tomographic ultrasound device, the researchers can create a highly accurate and detailed 3D tomographic image. This creates a kind of 3D mapping of the body's arteries, veins, and vessels. Thanks to the Resona 7’s advance technologies and crystal clear image quality, it was already considered by the researchers as the first choice for investigating arterial and venous diseases throughout most of the body. But with the help of Mindray’s R&D team, the researchers were able to go a step further and solidify their idea for a vascular 3D tomographic ultrasound image.

A member from the Mindray International R&D Team

Removing the Limitations of Perspective

3D Tomographic Ultrasound Image. Image courtesy of healthcare-in-europe.com

With a vascular 3D tomographic ultrasound image, doctors can freely look at an artery, vein or vessel from any angle, even from the inside. By being able to look from so many angles and perspectives, doctors can make an accurate analysis and take measurements while looking for plaque buildup. Should they find plaque buildup they can analyze the volume of the buildup and make confident treatment or even surgical decisions such as stroke intervention options based on their findings.

The team is now focusing heavily on this aspect of analysis in addition to also using this same technique to try and improve the accuracy of aneurysm screening.

“We've found that the volume of plaque is a very important association with stroke symptoms. If the risk of stroke is over 5% then, to detect people with carotid plaques, population screening becomes worthwhile. We can use the Resona 7 tomographic ultrasound solution to measure the volume of plaque.”

The Role of Resona 7 in 3D Tomographic Ultrasound Imaging

3D tomographic imaging can be accomplished thanks to the advanced technologies in the Resona 7. Equipped with Mindray’s V Flow technology, the Resona 7 can accurately display the velocity magnitude and direction of blood cells within the scanned artery, vein or vessel. 

Mindray's V Flow Application

Using easy to read arrows to display the movements of the blood flow, the system can show complex movements within the flow to better see hemodynamic changes. It can even display the hemodynamic changes in peripheral blood vessels. V Flow also takes it a step further by identifying and calculating the Wall Shear Stress to find early developments of plaque buildup. This level of sensitivity and information-rich data is a necessity for the creation of the 3D tomographic image.

Resona 7 Ultrasound System

Going Forward

With the advent of 3D tomographic ultrasound imaging, it has the potential to be one of the most favored methods to analyze vascular diseases and measure aneurysms.

3D Tomographic ultrasound imaging will open more doors and lead to greater possibilities in the near future. Developing new technologies to improve healthcare is one of the most exciting aspects of the medical world. Engaging with medical experts to make their ideas a reality is a leading motivator. It empowers Mindray to continue testing medical boundaries in the ongoing mission to bring better healthcare within reach for everyone.
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