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Home » Imaging News » April 4, 2007

Toshiba MR Systems Allow for Safe MRA Exams
Toshiba's Fresh Blood Imaging, Contrast Free Improved Angiography and Time-SLIP Techniques Eliminate Need for Gadolinium and Ensure Safe and Effective Patient Exams


April 4, 2007 -- Tustin, CA -- Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. has developed three imaging techniques for its MR product line, including the Vantage systems, that allow for contrast free imaging during MRA procedures. Contrast-free imaging is particularly important because gadolinium, the common contrast agent used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) exams, recently has been directly linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis also known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD), a sometimes fatal disease that occurs in patients with renal insufficiency. According to a study by Yale University1, 95 percent of the study's NFS/NFD patient pool had received gadolinium within three months of the disease's onset.

"Toshiba has been at the forefront of contrast-free imaging since 1998 — long before reports of the negative effects of gadolinium," said Bob Giegerich, director, MR Business Unit at Toshiba. "With Toshiba's contrast-free imaging techniques, physicians can perform MRA procedures and capture images superior to those acquired through techniques that require contrast agents."

Specifically, Toshiba's equipment utilizes three proprietary contrast-free imaging techniques that can successfully perform MRA — fresh blood imaging (FBI), contrast-free improved angiography (CIA) and Time-SLIP.

Unlike traditional Time of Flight Techniques commonly used in the MR market, FBI makes it possible to image the arteries and veins at the same time, but displays them separately, which allows physicians to more accurately diagnose diseases that may have both arterial and venous components. CIA is the second generation of FBI techniques developed by Toshiba and allows for imaging of small vessels, making it possible to diagnose disease before it manifests in the larger vessels. By identifying the disease process early, prognosis is improved. Time Spatial Labeling Inversion Pulse (Time-SLIP) was developed by Toshiba in 2001 and is a unique method that allows for noninvasive imaging of the vasculature, especially renals.

Today, a number of sites are using Toshiba's contrast-free imaging techniques, including Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI) in Las Vegas.

"Contrast-free imaging has gone from a research and investigational tool to a practical application and continues to grow," said Dr. Mark Winkler, M.D., professor of Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and founding partner of SDMI. "Specifically, Toshiba's Time-SLIP technique produces much higher quality renal MRAs than conventional contrast enhance techniques. This is important because these studies are often performed in patients with impaired renal function. "

Vantage MRI: Unmatched Clinical Performance
Featuring some of the most advanced MRI applications available in the industry, the Vantage offers a wide range of optional packages, including advanced Echo Planar Imaging, Diffusion and Perfusion Imaging, Peripheral Angiography utilizing Fresh Blood Imaging (FBI), SuperFASE (Fast Advanced Spin Echo) Imaging and Body Vision, diffusion-weighted imaging optimized for the trunk and torso. In addition, Toshiba's SPEEDER parallel imaging allows for increased acquisition speed and reduced examination times.

It is also able to determine the hemodynamics — without the use of contrast media — of selective vessels with high image quality using Time-SLIP technology, and offers better separation of arterial and venous blood flows with Contrast-free Improved Angiography (CIA).

About Toshiba
With headquarters in Tustin, Calif., Toshiba America Medical Systems markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, and coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in the United States. Toshiba Medical Systems Corp., an independent group company of Toshiba Corp., is a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, Cath & EP Labs, X-ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, MRI and information systems. Toshiba Corp. is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems. Toshiba has approximately 172,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of $54 billion. For more information, visit www.medical.toshiba.com.

Aquilion is a trademark of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation.

1Radiology, March 2007, Vol. 242:3, pp. 647-649


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