Philips is releasing a new multiplane transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) transducer that the company touts to be the world’s smallest. Developed to make cardiac imaging better in pediatric population, the probe could also be of benefit to adults with esophageal strictures and other obstructive defects. The S8-3t microTEE transducer is part of Philips’ iE33 echo system offerings, and is being presented this week at the 20th annual American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) in Washington, D.C.
Due to the larger size of previously available pediatric TEE transducers, small babies have been impossible to image during critical cardiac catheterization or surgical procedures. As a result, high-risk procedures have been done routinely on these tiny patients without transesophageal echocardiography images available to the interventionalist or surgeon.
"The microTEE probe is a major advance in our ability to provide intra-operative cardiac imaging in newborn babies and infants,” said Dr. Girish Shirali, M.D., director of pediatric echocardiography at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children’s Hospital. “We are delighted with the image quality, and the miniaturization of the probe has already proven invaluable to our pediatric interventionalists in high-risk cath lab procedures. Finally, our smallest and sickest patients can be imaged intra-operatively just like everyone else.”
Building on Philips’ existing 2D technology, the microTEE transducer is roughly one-third the size of previous pediatric TEE transducers, allowing physicians to ‘turn on the lights’ for the first time for their tinier patients and providing the images they need during interventional procedures. Available globally in summer 2009, the new microTEE is also entering trials for adult patients requiring TEE imaging but who have difficulty tolerating standard TEE probes.
Press release: Philips announces world’s smallest multiplane transesophageal transducer
Product page: iE33 Echocardiography System
Bottom image: This ventricular septal defect on a 5.4 kg infant is viewed side-by-side in 2D and color flow Doppler modes available on the Philips microTEE transducer.