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Seno Medical’s Imagio Combines Optoacoustics with Ultrasound to Diagnose Breast Cancer

At last week’s RSNA conference in Chicago, we got a chance to learn about Seno Medical Instruments, a San Antonio, Texas company, and its imaging technology that combines conventional ultrasound with a new modality called optoacoustic imaging. We spoke with Dr. Tom Stavros, Medical Director at Seno.

The company’s Imagio system relies on a duplex probe that looks and acts like a regular ultrasound transducer, but that also emits laser light to simultaneously work as an optoacoustic imaging device. In optoacoustics, laser light is used to add energy to tissue, which is then released in the form of ultrasound waves. These waves can be detected, but unlike conventional ultrasound, they contain information about blood and its oxygenation. Ultrasound is pretty good at seeing the structures of tissues, and in this device, optoacoustics provides the functional view of blood oxygenation and improves the contrast, which can make it critically important for spotting tumors, as tumors eat up a lot more oxygen than nearby tissues.