ICUS Conference Experts Respond to New California Law

Chicago, IL -- Experts at the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS) conference being held in Chicago weighed in today on the landmark Radiation Safety legislation signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday.

The law, the first of it’s kind in the U.S., mandates quality assurance standards and testing for all radiation-emitting medical and dental equipment in the State of California, protecting patients from unnecessary radiation exposure. Medical and dental x-rays along with CT scans are the leading environmental cause of breast cancer in women. “The good news is that technology exists today with contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) which eliminates the need for ionizing radiation and dye which could pose a health threat to patients,” said Dr. Michael Main an ICUS Board Member and leading cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Cardiovascular Consultants in Kansas City, Missouri. “Contrast-enhanced ultrasound empowers the medical world to better diagnose major diseases with greater image clarity for the doctor and with a safer, less invasive procedure for the patient,” added Main. Main also highlighted that expanded use of CEUS would save money as well as lives. CT scans, one of the main targets of the California legislation, have come under increasing FDA oversight with reports of massive ionizing radiation overdoses being given to patients in an effort to enhance clarity. One report involved more than 400 patients at 8 hospitals, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, were given radiation doses up to 8 times as much as intended.   

A major area of focus at the ICUS conference is on heart disease - still the #1 killer of Americans. Heart disease can be diagnosed using a simple ultrasound test enhanced with a contrast agent which is more accurate, more cost effective and avoids harmful radiation. “Contrast agents used for ultrasound imaging can improve the accuracy of an echocardiogram of the heart and can reduce overall diagnostic costs without radiation,” according to Dr. Steven Feinstein, Director of Echocardiography at Rush University Medical Center and Co-President of the International Contrast Ultrasound Society, which sponsored the conference in Chicago.

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ICUS is the world’s only professional society exclusively devoted to contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) medical imaging technology.

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