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Imaging & Diagnostic


magnetic field. “The tracker box feeds the information back to the ultrasound machine and, with the help of a proprietary mathematical model, the coordinates of the ultrasound image and the needle’s position within it are graphically fused in the eSieFusion imaging application,” explains Kapoor.


Originally spawned by a Siemens-sponsored PhD thesis in 2005 and FDA approved in late 2012, eSieFusion imaging, which is now available on Siemens’ ACUSON S3000™ ultrasound systems, creates a virtual 3-D window through the body by integrating the information from two completely different sources: the patient’s imported 3-D CT scan and his or her real-time ultrasound images.


Like an automotive navigation system, the CT information provides a map of the area of interest, where anatomical structures and the final destination — the lesion — are illustrated. The map can even include pre-treatment annotations that draw attention to areas that should be avoided by the needle. Overlaid on this map are the patient’s real-time ultrasound images. Siemens’ unique software, which discovers all the points of similarity between each CT image and each ultrasound image, creates rapid and robust alignment between the two.


Naturally, a third element must be added to this already data-rich environment: the real-time position of the needle tip. To integrate this into the picture, eSieFusion imaging’s “eSie Guide™ needle tracking” technology uses an external box that generates a weak magnetic field. With the help of a position sensor on the ultrasound transducer (the sensor head that touches the patient’s body) and a tiny coil inside the tip of the needle, the box tracks the positions of both as they move within the


“The tracker box feeds the information back to the ultrasound machine and, with the help of a proprietary mathematical model, the coordinates of the ultrasound image and the needle’s position within it are graphically fused in the eSieFusion imaging application,”


ANKUR KAPOOR, Research Scientist of Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) in Princeton, New Jersey.


Automated Answers in Three Seconds


The key feature in all of this is the ability of eSieFusion imaging to automatically align ultrasound images with CT images — a significant achievement considering that even when depicting exactly the same part of the body, these two modalities deliver radically different-looking pictures. To overcome this challenge, Siemens scientists came up with a technology that allows eSieFusion imaging to transform each CT image slice into a pseudo ultrasound image. “The ability to do this is based on knowledge about the transparency and reflectivity of tissues in ultrasound and CT,” explains Diallo.


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INSIGHT ON


HOSPITAL & HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT VOL. 3 ISSUE 2 FEBRUARY 2014


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