Perfil video: Soluciones de la salud de las mujeres de Hologic

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | April 15, 2010
At the recent ECR conference in Vienna, Hologic showcased their latest products for the European market, including a cutting-edge 3D mammography unit (with 3D features not available in the U.S.) and a bone density scanner (demo'd on the video) that also can be used for one of public health's biggest problems: obesity.


In the video, Annelies Morlion, a clinical applications specialist, shows the Discovery W (for whole body), a bone densitometer.

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"We do mainly hip and spine scans to evaluate if someone has osteoporosis," says Morlion. With a fan beam scan and over 128 detectors, it creates highly accurate images, she says.

It also runs their new Instant Vertebral Assessment (IVA), a low-dose imaging process that helps doctors gauge patients' fracture risk. The image is generated in about 15 seconds, up to 12 times faster than other such scans, according to Hologic.

New to the device is a feature suited to a growing medical problem in both Europe and the U.S.: obesity. The scanner can generate a report that estimates the patient's fat composition in order to diagnose the dangerous accumulation of fat. The scan color-codes the body, with fat appearing in yellow and lean mass in red.

The hope is that it can provide a more accurate picture of the patient's body composition than methods like the body mass index.

"Body mass index is not always that accurate," observes Morlion. For instance, she notes that a body builder could have a high BMI, when he is simply well muscled, not fat.

It takes about three minutes to generate the image, according to Morlion.


Also on view at the show was a groundbreaking mammography unit that offers both digital 2D mammography as well as a 3D mammography technique known as tomosynthesis.

While the device, Selenia Dimensions, is available in the United States, the 3D features are only approved, for now, in Europe.


Tomosynthesis promises to improve the accuracy of mammography, especially for women with dense breasts, potentially improving the specificity and sensitivity of the exam while dropping recall rates.

"If you have a spiculated lesion or overlap of the breast, due to the overlap of breast tissue, it can hide the lesion in the breast," says Karen Van Hyfte, product manager for Hologic in Europe and Middle East.

In the video, Van Hyfte explains how Selenia's tomosynthesis features work.

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The machine arcs around the breast, taking 15 low-dose X-ray exposures in around five seconds. It then rapidly reconstructs the images into one-millimeter-thick slices. The reconstructed images are then beamed to the workstation. "This way you have a complete exam," says Van Hyfte.


Hologic is also offering an upright biopsy add-on for Selenia called Affirm.

If the radiologist detects something suspicious, the doctor can order a vertical stereotactic-guided biopsy using an attachable compression paddle. The paddles come in two sizes. The smaller one lets the radiologist reach lesions closer to the nipple, according to Van Hyfte.

Lindsay Grystar contributed to this report.