Tustin : Aplio 500 Platinum ultrasound systems from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc., has been announced to be utilized in research to study the microvascularization of the placenta, placental tissue elasticity and placental calcification content. As part of an initiative to better understand placental function, the Aplio 500 Platinum will be used at the Fetal Cardiovascular Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) Maternal Fetal Medicine led by Dr. Alfred Abuhamad, which received a $2.725 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“Through our research study, we hope to develop an algorithm that can potentially help predict late pregnancy complications in early gestation by using new, high-tech ultrasound software, provided by Toshiba,” said Dr. Alfred Abuhamad, Mason C. Andrews Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs at EVMS. “Our study is designed to identify which ultrasound tools are best at determining women who will develop poor pregnancy outcomes and those who will not. If we have the ability to identify which pregnancies will have complications in the future through ultrasound, then we can address it early with interventions and therapies.”
Toshiba’s Aplio 500 Platinum ultrasound system provides powerful clinical imaging technology for advanced visualization, quantification and intervention. For example, EVMS will leverage the system’s Superb Micro-Vascular Imaging (SMI), which allows clinicians to see small vessels and to visualize low-velocity microvascular blood flow without the need for more invasive modalities and the use of radiologic contrast. EVMS will also utilize Toshiba’s Shear Wave Elastography to non-invasively measure tissue stiffness, while MicroPure enables better visualization of microcalcifications compared to gray scale imaging.
“This initiative will allow researchers to apply Toshiba’s innovative ultrasound technology on the placenta during early pregnancy to investigate new methods to predict and safely minimize future difficulties,” said Eugene Mensah, Ph.D., M.B.A., director, Clinical Collaborations, Toshiba. “This is a very prestigious award and we are excited to support research to improve pregnancy outcomes for the mother and child.”
The grant was awarded to EVMS in collaboration with the University of Texas-Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. as part of the Human Placenta Project, which is a research initiative by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). NIH has awarded 19 grants, totaling approximately $46 million. Collaborative research support from Toshiba will be managed by the Clinical Collaborations Department of Toshiba under the direction of Todd Erpelding, Ph.D., manager, Clinical Sciences, and Dr. Mensah.