High frequency probes deliver improved visualisation of nerves and tendons at Addenbrooke’s

Addenbrooke’s Hospital is finding that the growing range of diagnostic ultrasound probes available for the Canon Medical Aplio i-series ultrasound system is expanding the possibilities for MSK radiology clinical practice and reducing the need for MRI scan appointments. Using high frequency 24MHz and 33MHz linear matrix technology probes, the clinical team at the Cambridge hospital is gaining improved anatomical detail of superficial structures such as nerves and tendons in hands and fingers. This will help with hand and wrist injury explorations and provide greater detail in pre and post-operative examinations.

i33LX9 ultrasound probe
The 33MHz ultra high frequency iDMS linear probe (i33LX9).

“The advantages of the innovation in high frequency ultrasound probes mean gaining greater imaging detail to support clinical confidence,” said consultant MSK radiologist Dr Andrew Grainger. “This includes giving excellent image resolution of superficial or close to skin surface structures such as nerves under the skin, to help identify damage following surgery or explore causes of a patient’s loss of sensation.”

Improved image quality from the new probes can improve the capability to explore tendon injuries in fingers and hands. This can be to assess subtle damage from glass or knife injuries or post-operative issues.

Dr Andrew Grainger
Consultant MSK radiologist Dr Andrew Grainger.

There are also time and process savings resulting from the development in ultrasound probes. For example, it takes 15 minutes to perform a complicated MSK ultrasound scan compared to 30-45 minutes for an MRI scan and the additional administration associated with paperwork for patient consent. Canon Medical Systems says it is this improvement in image quality that will also help with surgical planning; traditionally, surgeons like MR images because they show anatomical detail as true to life for procedural planning.

With ultrasound, clinicians are now able to deliver comparable or even better superficial imaging and there is the potential to change the way radiology and surgery work together.

Lead picture: The 24MHz ultra high frequency iDMS linear probe (i24LX8).

Published on page 22 of the July 2021 issue of RAD Magazine.

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