This year’s EuroEcho-Imaging conference in Istanbul, Turkey (11–14 December) will see global medical imaging manufacturer, Esaote, showcase Prevention Suite: a unique package of ultrasound imaging modalities for both cardiac and vascular investigations.
Prevention Suite provides clinicians with a wide range of tools for assessing a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease quickly and reliably, often before symptoms occur. It is regarded as providing a ‘step change’ in terms of early detection and prevention of cardiovascular disease using ultrasound.
The four advanced technologies that make up Prevention Suite are CFI, XStrainTM*, RFQIMT and RFQAS* which measure coronary flow quantification, cardiac deformation indexes, carotid intima-media thickness and arterial stiffness, respectively. The vascular measurements are performed using RF signal analysis which provides high spatial resolution for greater accuracy.
Professor Fausto Rigo, Head of Cardiac Diagnostic Imaging Department at Dell’Angelo Hospital, Mestre-Venice (Italy), has used Esaote’s Prevention Suite extensively in both inpatient and outpatient examinations. “For clinicians ranging from GPs to Cardiologists, Prevention Suite is a unique and technically superb ‘one-stop-shop’ for cardiovascular assessment.
It allows us to quickly and reliably make an appraisal of the patient, providing information about the actual biological risk of atherosclerosis. Prevention Suite’s resolution for vessel analysis is particularly impressive. There is no equivalent that allows us this multiplicity of information in the pre-clinical phase. Patients are fascinated by the examination too, and Prevention Suites’ real-life images are highly persuasive in convincing them to modify their lifestyle.”
Reducing CVD risk, cutting costs
Early detection approach using imaging of key cardiovascular regions can be viewed as an important way of addressing an extremely costly issue: In 2011, the American Heart Association estimated that by 2030 the cost of treating cardiovascular diseases will rise from $273 to $818 billion.
Professor Cristina Giannattasio, Head Cardiology IV, Cardiologic Department at Niguarda Hospital, Milan, notes, “Atherosclerosis is one of the pathologies which can remain asymptomatic for a long time. The availability of dedicated cardiac and vascular measurements in the same device offers a more user-friendly and comprehensive assessment with the benefit of being able to detect early risk of CV disease.” She adds, “In the future, preventative approaches will be the best way of reducing morbidity and mortality.”
Ongoing clinical studies involving hundreds of patients at clinical centres throughout Europe have started to show the benefits of a preventative screening approach. Professor Rigo explains, “The integration of cardiac and vascular assessments will help physicians identify the actual biological risk of atherosclerosis. Once clinical risk is identified, clinicians can work with patients on early intervention strategies and lifestyle modification before the risk of CVD escalates. As well as having clear patient benefits, pre-clinical assessments may help prevent hospitalisations and acute therapies, yielding significant long-term cost savings.”