Cardiology, information technology  

Coronary plaque characterization software from Toshiba and Vital Images

31 October 2006

Minneapolis, USA. Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation and Vital Images Inc. (NASDAQ:VTAL) have released their jointly developed SUREPlaque software which is designed to aid in the evaluation, characterization and quantification of plaque inside the coronary arteries.

Under a partnership agreement, SUREPlaque is available on Vital Images' Vitrea software, version 3.9, which features significant enhancements to Vital Images' dedicated cardiac visualization applications.

Although compatible with cardiac images from any CT (computed tomography) scanner, SUREPlaque was developed and validated exclusively on Toshiba CT images.

Featuring improved integration between Vitrea and SUREPlaque, the coronary plaque characterization software is designed to provide colour coding of vessel walls, noncalcified and calcified plaque for easy reference and viewing. Enhancements include improved visualization of lesion boundaries and plaque types with automated measurement and quantification tools. For Toshiba CT images, there are additional functionalities, including measuring plaque burden.

In addition to SUREPlaque, Vitrea 3.9 incorporates new tools for probing coronary arteries, as well as increased capacity for handling large datasets.

"Through our long-term partnership with Vital Images, we have focused on the development of fast and easy-to-use advanced visualization tools designed specifically to optimize cardiac imaging for the evaluation of coronary arteries," said Toshihiro Rifu, general manager, CT Business Unit, TMSC. "The result of this commitment to improving coronary artery imaging, SUREPlaque is a natural and complementary part of the workflow that already exists to evaluate vessel stenosis."

"We strongly believe that the strategic partnership with Toshiba has resulted in the development of one of the most important new tools in cardiac imaging," said Dr Susan A. Wood, executive vice president of marketing and clinical development for Vital Images. "With quantification tools that go well beyond colour coding and positive remodelling indexing, SUREPlaque not only detects plaque deposits in the lumen, but also within the vessel wall, making it one of the most advanced tools to characterize coronary vessels available."

According to Dr. Wood, Vital Images and Toshiba are preparing validation studies to clinically evaluate SUREPlaque against plaque measurement tools such as virtual histology and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).

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