Image: The ExactVu micro-ultrasound system (Photo courtesy of Exact Imaging).
A novel micro-ultrasound probe enables real-time high-resolution imaging and guided biopsies of the prostate and the surrounding anatomy.
The Exact Imaging (Markham, ON, Canada) ExactVu micro-ultrasound platform enables urologists to visualize areas of interest in the prostate and target biopsies at those areas, aided by the prostate risk identification using micro-ultrasound (PRI-MUS) evidence-based protocol, a tool that can characterize prostate tissue and quickly identify benign or suspicious regions, and target biopsies accordingly. The system comprises a complete urological platform, supporting both high-resolution and conventional transducers.
A high-resolution 29 MHz transducer is intended for targeted and systematic biopsy procedures of the prostate, while conventional resolution transducers are used for abdominal imaging (such as the kidney and bladder), testicular imaging, and large prostate procedures. Additional features include FusionVu, which can quickly and easily import radiological reports from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans or import the annotated MR images themselves, which can then be co-aligned with the live ExactVu micro-ultrasound images.
In this way, the urologist can identify and target lesions using PRI-MUS and ExactVu for the majority of cases but, when needed, can also leverage MRI-identified lesions to ensure they are not missed in the total biopsy procedure. The FusionVu application runs on the ExactVu platform, and does not require any new hardware or additional radiological software. Other features include Micro Color and Power Doppler apps, which are sensitive enough to detect micro-vascular flow and intensity in the prostate.
“The era of blind, unguided biopsies is coming to an end and urologists are searching for new tools that leverage break-through technologies, familiar workflows and allow them to benefit from improved imaging resolution to target their prostate biopsies,” said Randy AuCoin, President and CEO of Exact Imaging. “Our platform is such a solution—it images in real-time, it is located in the urologist's office, and it is ultrasound-based. Most important, it allows for the guidance of both systematic and targeted biopsies due to its exquisite resolution.”
Micro-ultrasound offers a resolution down to 70 microns (0.07 of a millimeter), a 300% improvement in imaging resolution compared to the traditional standard-of-care urological ultrasound systems.