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Clinical Ultrasound Units Modes of Failure Survey

W Davros

W Davros*, D Hoeprich, K Hulme, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

SU-E-I-100 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

This work was done to establish the frequency and modes of failure for clinical ultrasound units from three vendors and various models.

Ultrasound quality assurance reports from 2012 year were scrutinized for unit- or transducer-failures or for less catastrophic mechanical issues. All reports were performed via the American College of Radiology accreditation program guidelines for quality assurance surveys. Aspects of each ultrasound unit that was evaluated included, image quality (edge-to-edge uniformity, Vertical or horizontal shading, zone-to-zone uniformity), dead zone size, penetration depth, electronic caliper accuracy, axial and lateral resolution and low contrast object detection ability. Also evaluated are mechanical integrity of all cords and cables, transducer housings and scanning surfaces. Monitor cleanliness and general working condition were also evaluated. Tests were performed semi-annually for 70 ultrasound units. Units included 2 Siemens Ateres, 2 Siemens Elegra, 9 General Electric E9, 3 ATL HDI 5000, 18 Philips iU22, 20 Siemens S2000, 2 Siemens Sonoline, 13 Siemens X3000 and one Zonara.

70 ultrasound base units and 532 transducers were tested twice each over one year yielding 140 reports. Of these 70 base units, two were found to have quality issues needing immediate repair. One had a malfunctioning Time-Gain-Compensator control slider and the other had a faulty graphics board creating an artifact on all images independent of the transducer used. Of the 532 transducers evaluated one showed evidence of a non-functioning crystal array element and was taken from service and another had a torn scan-surface cover and was also taken from service.

Regular quality assurance evaluation of clinical ultrasound units does reveal transducers and base units that have repair or replacement issues. The overall prevalence of such events is less than 1 in 100 for transducers and 1 in 35 for base units.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: I own GE stock.

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