At the European Congress of Radiology in Vienna, Austria, this week, GE Healthcare introduced two new vascular visualization software applications that give interventional radiologists more complete, detailed information. FlightPlan for Liver automatically extracts vessels in the vicinity of the tumor during liver embolizations, while AngioViz enhances Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) to give a new vision of vascular flow.
“We are proud to offer our customers new information they will find incredibly valuable when planning and assessing complex interventional procedures. FlightPlan is a unique and truly innovative application, and represents a major breakthrough in liver embolization. And AngioViz takes the DSA technique to a new level,” said Chantal Le Chat, General Manager of Interventional Radiology, GE Healthcare.
FlightPlan for Liver represents breakthrough in liver embolization.
There are more than 749,000 new liver cancers every year globally. It is the fifth most common cancer for men, and the eighth most common for women. 
Chemoembolization is an interventional oncology procedure in which a high dose of cancer-killing drug (chemotherapy) is delivered directly to the organ while the tumor is deprived of its blood supply by blocking, or embolizing, the arteries feeding the tumor. Approximately half of all interventional oncology procedures in the liver are this type.
Because the liver arterial tree is highly complex, navigating catheters to a precise target in that vascular structure can be difficult and time consuming. Moreover, identifying the vessels can take significant time, radiation exposure and contrast material.
FlightPlan for Liver is an easy-to-use, powerful application that helps the radiologist to plan and perform liver embolization. With FlightPlan, the success rate in detecting tumor-feeding vessels is 93 percent, as compared to 64 percent and 73 percent when using 2D and 3D review respectively.
FlightPlan works by first constructing in 3D the vascular tree from a selected starting point in the hepatic artery. Then, the radiologist selects the tumor area. In a single click, FlightPlan automatically extracts the vessels in the vicinity of the tumor and displays them with color-coding for easy visualization. With this information, the radiologist can more easily identify the tumor-feeding vessels and be more selective when planning the embolization. This plan can then be used during the interventional radiology procedure using Innova Vision, where it becomes a real-time roadmap superimposed on fluoroscopy to simplify navigation.
“FlightPlan For Liver automatic identification of feeders in the vicinity of the tumor allows to delegate most of the processing to the staff in the control room and accelerate the understanding of the tumor anatomy. This is a real help because it improves the workflow and provides more confidence,” said Dr. F. Deschamps, Institut Gustave Roussy in France.
AngioViz yields new information from previously available data
Vascular imaging was revolutionized in the 1980s with the development of a technique called Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA). DSA uses fluoroscopic image intensifiers to digitize images of injected contrast and removes the under and overlying body structures by digitally subtracting an image taken before the contrast was injected. Used with today’s modern digital flat panel X-ray detectors, this technique produces excellent images of vascular anatomy.
But the anatomy of the vessels is only part of the story. Doctors want more information about the patterns and amount of blood flow to make better decisions during image guided interventions. They also want to have temporal information on one image, instead of having to scan through a series of DSA images. Finally they want to see how the flow of blood to an area of tissue has changed as a result of treatment.
The new AngioViz application provides a new visualization of the vascular flow seen in DSA imaging called parametric imaging. It determines for each pixel the time it takes to reach peak opacification and the peak value of opacification. These two parameters can be displayed as separate images or combined in several ways in a single color-coded image.
This enables doctors to perceive both temporal and contrast intensity information in a single image, in addition to reviewing the whole temporal DSA sequence to see the information. In addition, AngioViz allows easy comparison of parametric images from different DSA acquisitions, such as pre- and post-treatment images, or right and left cerebral hemisphere images. This can help physicians understand the impact on flow dynamics of various interventional treatments.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
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AngioViz and FlightPlan for Liver may not be available in all countries. For information please contact your GE Healthcare representative. At this time, AngioViz and FlightPlan for Liver are not cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for commercial availability in the U.S. nor is cleared and approved for commercial availability in Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Ethiopia.
 GLOBOCAN 2008 (IARC), World fast stats sheet, pages 1-2
 CVIS Volume 33, Number 6, April 2010: “Computed Analysis of Three-Dimensional Cone-beam Computed Tomography Angiography for Determination of Tumor-Feeding Vessels During Chemoembolization of Liver Tumor: A Pilot Study” F. Deschamps, S. Solomon & Th. de Baère.