Duke University researchers have developed 3-D ultrasound technology that utilizes signals coming from a number of transducers to recreate volumetric structures below the surface. Last week, at the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers’ annual Medical Imaging scientific sessions in Orlando, Fla., the researchers presented findings from a small study showing the feasibility of using the system by paramedics to assess the type of stroke a victim is experiencing.
From Duke University’s news office:
The latest advance is an extension of the findings of Duke bioengineering graduate student Nikolas Ivancevich, who developed a strategy to overcome what has in the past been a major obstacle to using ultrasound to get clear images of the brain and the structures within — the skull itself.
The Duke laboratory has a long track record of modifying traditional 2-D ultrasound — like that used to image babies in utero — into more advanced 3-D scans, which can provide more detailed information. After inventing the technique in 1991, the team has shown its utility in developing specialized catheters and endoscopes for imaging the heart and blood vessels.
Lindsey [Brooks Lindsey, graduate student at Duke] tested the brain helmet prototype on two healthy volunteers to assess its ability to accurately provide images of the major vessels of the brain.
“Not only were we able to see in color real-time images of the blood vessels, but we observed the direction of blood flow,” Lindsey said. “Seeing flow is one of our main goals, since it would help clinicians find the location of the stroke.”
Press release: New Brain Helmet Could Detect Stroke Earlier