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eSie Touch Elasticity Imaging, and a Promise of Avoiding Breast Biopsies

A new method in ultrasound known as "eSie Touch Elasticity Imaging" will be shown by Siemens Medical Solutions at the ECR 2007 (European Congress of Radiology) in Vienna//, Austria. Physicians hope that this new method, which is an adjunct to regular breast ultrasound examinations, may provide a clinically relevant differentiation of benign and malignant tissue. The method is currently being tested in several studies with promising results and could potentially reduce the number of unnecessary breast biopsies. The software for this diagnostic advance is offered with the 5.0 release of the Acuson Antares ultrasound system, premium edition.

Clinicians use this innovative application to generate an "elastogram" which provides additional information about mechanical properties, e.g. the stiffness of breast lesions. The Siemens method offers a significant improvement in the acquisition of the data - in most cases, the heart beat and the breathing of the patient will provide a sufficient movement to generate the elastogram.

In a recently published study, 80 patients with a total of 123 suspicious lesions were examined. Using elasticity measurements from the eSie Touch Elasticity Imaging application, 18 lesions were classified as malignant, which was confirmed in17 cases by a needle-guided biopsy. Of the 105 lesions predicted as benign, all were biopsy-proven benign. "Elasticity imaging has a high specificity," confirms the head of the study, Richard G. Barr, professor for radiology at the Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine and Radiology at the Southwoods X-Ray and MRI in Youngstown, Ohio/USA. Barr hopes that the use of elasticity imaging will help to reduce the number of breast biopsies for many patients. The results of the Barr study are presently being validated in comprehensive studies in Europe and elsewhere in the United States.

Elasticity imaging illustrates the relative stiffness of tissue compared to its surroundi
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