Exploring the Depths of the Heart

“This is the next true breakthrough, improving efficiency and, ultimately, patient care.” – Dr. Khandheria of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center

[caption id="attachment_9999" align="alignnone" width="690"]GIF E95_BSI_forTEE_10s Visualization for understanding complex blood flow issues in the heart[/caption] Every minute, the heart pumps about five quarts of blood through a system of vessels that’s more than 60,000 miles long – more than twice the earth’s circumference![1] Another startling number to consider: Heart disease accounts for one out of every three deaths in the United States.[2] Cardiologists are constantly on the lookout for new methods to examine the heart. Two years ago, Dr. Bijoy Khandheria and his team at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Wisconsin were introduced to cSound™ a powerful software beamformer image reconstruction platform that allows cardiologists to see the heart in like never before. cSound is so powerful that it can process an amount of data equivalent to playing an entire DVD in just one second, in real-time. [caption id="attachment_9998" align="alignnone" width="689"]Visualizing different blood flow directions in the heart Visualizing different blood flow directions in the heart[/caption] Now, Dr. Khandheria is equipped with the new Productivity Elevated release on GE Healthcare’s Vivid E95 that takes their productivity to a new level. “This is a true leap forward from what was already an excellent cardiac ultrasound imaging platform,” explains Dr. Khandheria. On any given day, more than 100 patients walk through the echocardiography laboratory at Aurora St Luke Medical Center, where Dr. Khandheria is the medical director – each with a different set of medical issues. The ability to properly assess, diagnose, and treat these patients is often a matter of life or death. Using this new system has enhanced their productivity and efficiency and improves patient care overall. [caption id="attachment_10018" align="alignnone" width="690"]Imaging the left side of the heart to determine possible complications, including heart failure Imaging the left side of the heart to determine possible complications, including heart failure[/caption] In one recent case, Dr. Khandheria saw a patient who had been told his heart activity looked normal for the last three years. But with this new system, Dr. Khandheria found irregular activity in the left ventricular that eventually led to a diagnosis of non-compaction – a rare genetic disease of the heart. By catching this early, the team altered treatment and closely monitored the patient. “We’ve seen several potential benefits to the new workflow features on this ultrasound system, including software enhancements and automation that make it easier for the sonographer to acquire the images and even speed up the process without losing image quality,” notes Dr. Khandheria. “In fact, we are able to save three to five minutes per study. When performing several studies every day, this adds up to a significant amount of time.” These cSound enabled automated features help streamline both routine and advanced studies. The time saved can be used to evaluate critical cases and deliver high-quality, efficient care. What excites Dr. Khandheria the most is the ability to view a graphical representation of the blood cells’ trajectories with Blood Speckle Imaging (BSI). Quotes V3 “This [BSI] is the next true breakthrough, improving efficiency and, ultimately, patient care,” says Dr. Khandheria. “It opens a whole new vista of learning what is happening in the heart and cardiovascular physiology.” [1] [2]