AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France--()--SuperSonic Imagine, the innovative ultrasound company, has developed a breakthrough technology called ShearWave Elastography, which images tissue stiffness in real-time and has been shown to be effective in the visualization of different stages of fibrosis leading up to cirrhosis. Aixplorer ShearWave Elastography is the only mode cleared by the FDA to add a real-time, adjustable numerical scale in meters per second that measures shear wave velocity in tissue. The clinical and economic impact of this technique could be significant given the massive number of people infected with hepatitis B and C worldwide. The technology may also enable physicians to follow disease progression or regression.
“The impact of ShearWave™ Elastography imaging technology, both in clinical and economic terms, cannot be underestimated. This technology could enable a major shift in patient management.”
Dr. Aymeric Guibal, MD, PhD, Lyon, France stated, “As ShearWave Elastography is a real-time, non-invasive, reproducible method, it could have a significant impact on fibrosis imaging and follow-up. This imaging technique could be helpful in validating the absence of fibrosis as well as to confirm cirrhosis to avoid invasive, costly and possibly dangerous procedures.”
ShearWave Elastography goes further than conventional ultrasound
While conventional ultrasound gives morphological information, ShearWave Elastography imaging provides physiological information. ShearWave Elastography imaging can help to map hepatic stiffness of the entire region of interest in real-time. More importantly, ShearWave Elastography also works well in difficult cases such as ascites.
Non-invasive procedures could mean fewer biopsies repeated in patients with hepatitis C
Liver biopsy has traditionally been considered the standard for assessing liver fibrosis severity in chronic hepatitis C. It can be performed percutaneous, or by a transvenous route in case of hemostasis disorder. This method has major drawbacks including significant incidence of morbidity, procedure and hospitalization costs, and clinical shortcomings as fibrosis is underestimated in 10-30% of the cases. In addition, biopsies cannot be regularly repeated and they provide a limited sample of tissue. These limitations mean biopsy is not an ideal method to regularly follow-up pathology progression and regression over time. By contrast, non-invasive exams such as blood tests and imaging could overcome some of these limitations. ShearWave Elastography is non-invasive and patients can be scanned with Aixplorer repeatedly to map and follow liver stiffness changes.
In France, to avoid repeated biopsies in patients with hepatitis C, the High Authority for Health (HAS) has recommended the use of non-invasive tests to assess liver fibrosis, such as ShearWave™ Elastography. In the near future, other countries are likely to consider the use and reimbursement of non-invasive techniques, to become the primary tools for evaluating liver stiffness.
According to SuperSonic Imagine CEO Jacques Souquet, PhD, “The impact of ShearWave™ Elastography imaging technology, both in clinical and economic terms, cannot be underestimated. This technology could enable a major shift in patient management.”
SuperSonic Imagine will be present in booth 101 at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, November 9-13, 2012.
|(1)||Accuracy of Real-Time Shear Wave Elastography for Assessing Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C: A Pilot Study, Ferraioli et al. University of Pavia, Italy.|
|Reproducibility of real-time shear wave elastography in the evaluation of liver elasticity, Ferraioli et al. University of Pavia, Italy.|
|(2)||Source Pasteur1 Institute.|
About SuperSonic Imagine
Founded in 2005 and based in Aix-en-Provence (France), SuperSonic Imagine is an innovative, international company specializing in ultrasound medical imaging. The company designs, develops, and markets a revolutionary ultrasound system, Aixplorer®, with a unique ultrasound imaging technology, called MultiWave™ Technology. This technology allows Aixplorer® to be the only ultrasound system that images two types of waves to better characterize tissue; an ultrasound wave to ensure impeccable image quality and a shear wave, ShearWave™ Elastography, to compute and display true tissue stiffness in real time by acquiring images nearly 200 times faster than conventional systems.
In 2009, SuperSonic Imagine was granted 510(k) clearance by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and CE mark in Europe for the marketing of Aixplorer®.
Distribution agreements have been signed with prestigious companies such as HologSuperSc (Nasdaq : HOLX) for the breast market in the U.S.A. and Canon (NYSE : CAJ) for Japan. SuperSonic Imagine’s distribution network has now more than 30 partners worldwide.
For more information about SuperSonic Imagine, please go to www.supersonicimagine.us.