GE Healthcare has added support for the AcuNav intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) catheter to its Vivid i ultrasound scanner, and is launching the enhanced system at this week's Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics meeting in Washington, DC.
ICE is commonly used to guide percutaneous surgeries of structural heart abnormalities, such as repair of heart valves, patent foramen ovale conditions, and atrial septal defects, as well as for electrophysiology applications. ICE enables clinicians to visualize the heart from a different perspective and without the ionizing radiation of an angiography system.
Ultrasound vendor Acuson (now part of Siemens Healthcare of Malvern, PA) began shipping AcuNav in 2000, and in 2006 Siemens granted exclusive worldwide licensing rights to the technology to Biosense Webster of Diamond Bar, CA.
GE executives believe that the AcuNav catheter is a good fit for Vivid i, a laptop-sized scanner targeted at cardiovascular labs. The company said that it has sold over 5,000 Vivid i scanners, while AcuNav has an 80% share of the ICE market.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given GE 510(k) clearance to market AcuNav with Vivid i, and sales are beginning this week, the vendor said.
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