Vision Inside the Heart -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine


Siemens AG Medical Solutions

Vision Inside the Heart

Small, Powerful New Ultrasound Catheter AcuNav 8F Improves Access to Entire Heart

Siemens Medical Solutions is now offering the medical community an even smaller, powerful tool to visualize the entire heart during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures – the new Acuson AcuNav 8F ultrasound catheter. The new catheter, sized at eight French, is 33 percent smaller in the cross sectional area than the existing AcuNav 10F catheter and enables improved access in all patients, particularly smaller patients for left heart applications in electrophysiology and interventional cardiology. The new catheter was recently introduced to the European market.

According to clinical evaluators of the AcuNav 8F catheter, the smaller size coupled with the same high resolution and depth of imaging as the existing AcuNav 10F catheter is a significant improvement and allows access to a wider range of patients. “The size and flexibility of the new catheter were very impressive and provided us with improved visualization of defects with less trauma to the patients,” said Ziyad M. Hijazi, M.D., MPH, section chief of pediatric cardiology and professor of pediatrics and medicine, University of Chicago, USA. “During evaluation, I performed two atrial septal defect (ASD) closure procedures and one patent foramen ovale (PFO) procedure on a total of three patients, two being quite small, and the third weighing just over 118 kilogram. With the 8F, I was able to get spectacular images of clinical significance with no problem at all.”

Dr. Hijazi and other clinical evaluators say the new catheter will change the way ASD closure procedures are performed in smaller patients. “There will be no need to use transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in small patients, and the operator will be able to perform the echocardiographic evaluation and the closure simultaneously, therefore the resources in the department will be used more efficiently,” said Dr. Hijazi.

The new, smaller catheter provides visualization of vascular and cardiac anatomy and physiology, measurement of blood flow and visualization of other devices throughout the entire heart. According to Klaus Hambüchen, Head of the Ultrasound Division at Siemens Medical Solutions, “The trend in cardiac procedures is toward less invasive surgery, going from open surgery to keyhole access, and now to catheter-based procedures, which demands new visualization techniques. The ability of intracardiac echocardiography to see anatomy and devices under blood will enable many new applications such as mitral and aortic valve repair using catheters, and will accelerate the adoption of catheter-based procedures that reduce trauma and recovery time for patients.”

The AcuNav 8F catheter is currently available on the Sequoia ultrasound platforms, the Acuson CV70 cardiovascular system and the Acuson Cypress cardiovascular system.

Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to patient monitors to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors' offices. Employing approximately 33.000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.6 billion EUR, orders of 8.6 billion EUR and group profit of 1 billion EUR for fiscal 2005. Further information can be found under: