A group led by Helle Precht, PhD, of the University College Lillebaelt in Odense explored for the first time whether Canon Medical Systems Europe’s Advanced Edge Enhancement (AEE) software could be clinically useful for this purpose.
“The use of AEE algorithms has the potential to reduce the number of retakes in this patient group, by improving visualization of tubes, catheters, and wires on initial radiographs, rather than requiring modification of exposure parameters and irradiation of the patient,” the group wrote.
X-ray is the standard approach for determining the correct placement of devices in patients’ chests, as incorrect placement can lead to complications, such as pleural effusion, pulmonary edema, chest wall abscess, and chest or back pain.
The AEE software is installed in Canon’s digital x-ray machines and applies three different user algorithms (catheter, bone, and small structure) to enhance the visualization of the edges of these targets from surrounding tissue. While the software has been shown to improve visual characteristics in other anatomical areas, to date, no studies have explored its usefulness in chest x-rays, according to the authors.
The researchers included 50 consecutive anterior-posterior chest x-rays acquired from patients with either a tube, catheter, or wire present. All three of the software’s algorithms were applied to the chest x-rays in postprocessing using two intensity settings (1 and 4), for a total of 350 different images. Three radiologists then evaluated the images using a subjective grading analysis; a score of three indicated they were suitable for diagnostic assessments.
According to the findings, the three AEE algorithms contributed to an overall improvement (average range between 16% to 49%) in the visualization of tubes, catheters, or wires on the chest x-ray images. It also demonstrated a statistically significant (p < 0.05) improvement in contrast resolution and sharpness.
However, the high-intensity catheter algorithm was the only one to achieve a statistically significant (p = 0.017) increase in the ability to differentiate pulmonary tissues of similar density, according to the authors.
“The bone and catheter algorithms showed the highest consistency, with the small structure algorithm underperforming in resolution and low contrast resolution,” they wrote.
While the results are encouraging for more clinical adoption of the software, future studies are needed to further investigate which AEE settings are the most effective for different patient sizes, medical devices, sexes, and patient positioning, the authors wrote.
“The algorithm should also be evaluated in clinical practice to measure its effect during a clinical workday,” Precht and colleagues concluded.
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DANVILLE—The Danville Area Community College Sonography and Echocardiography programs announced the addition of a Philips Elite ultrasound system to their current imaging fleet. The new system was purchased by the college to offer additional scanning opportunities to the students in preparation for clinical application.
The Philips machine is a dual platform system that can be shared between the two programs in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional acquisition modes. In addition to 2D and 3D acquisition abilities, the system is equipped with the necessary software to provide the echocardiography students experience in the application of left ventricle strain imaging, which is a modality that allows early detection of subclinical left ventricular dysfunction and increases diagnostic confidence in specific cardiac diseases.
The DACC Sonography and Echocardiography programs will now have a total of four ultrasound systems to use in the scanning laboratory for preparing the students to enter the clinical atmosphere. The additional machine will allow each program to utilize three machines during instructor-supervised scanning sessions which will significantly increase the amount of hands-on time each student is allotted. The systems used by the programs are Philips Elite, Philips 7G XMatrix, GE Vivid E9 and Toshiba Xario XG. The scanning laboratories are equipped to allow students to practice performance of examinations in adult echocardiography, abdominal, small parts, obstetrics, gynecology and vascular sonography.
Sonography, also called ultrasonography, is the use of sound waves to generate images for the assessment and diagnosis of various medical conditions. These detailed images provide views into the inner workings of the body. Echocardiography is the use of sound waves to generate images for the assessment and diagnosis of various heart conditions.
Graduates with the DACC Sono certificate are immediately employed as staff sonographers primarily in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers and physician’s offices. Sonographers can also be considered for additional training in specialty areas such as vascular and echocardiography. The median salary for sonographers is $71,000.
Graduates with the DACC Echo certificate are immediately employed as echocardiographers primarily in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers and physician’s offices. Career opportunities also exist in administration, education, sales and marketing and applications training for echocardiographers with more advanced degrees. The median salary for echocardiographers ranges from $68,750 to $76,000.
The two ultrasound programs are one-year advanced certificate, selective admission programs that accept 10 students each. Admission criteria, program details and the application can be found at https://dacc.edu/depts/medicalimaging.
To be considered for the Sonography program students must possess either a degree or certificate and be licensed/registered in Radiologic Sciences, or a Registered Nursing degree and license, or another health profession degree and license/registration, or any bachelor’s or advanced degree. To be considered for the Echocardiography program students must possess any of the above or a degree or certificate and license/registration in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
The Echo and Sono application deadlines have been extended through the summer, with new classes starting in August. To learn more, contact Tammy Howard at 217-443-8552 or email email@example.com.