GB2073418A - Apparatus and method for examination of the gastro intestinal tract - Google Patents

Apparatus and method for examination of the gastro intestinal tract Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2073418A
GB2073418A GB8109509A GB8109509A GB2073418A GB 2073418 A GB2073418 A GB 2073418A GB 8109509 A GB8109509 A GB 8109509A GB 8109509 A GB8109509 A GB 8109509A GB 2073418 A GB2073418 A GB 2073418A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
tract
probe
head
array
image
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB8109509A
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GB2073418B (en
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University of Toronto
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University of Toronto
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US13539180A priority Critical
Application filed by University of Toronto filed Critical University of Toronto
Publication of GB2073418A publication Critical patent/GB2073418A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2073418B publication Critical patent/GB2073418B/en
Application status is Expired legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/12Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves in body cavities or body tracts, e.g. by using catheters
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/44Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device
    • A61B8/4483Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device characterised by features of the ultrasound transducer
    • A61B8/4488Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device characterised by features of the ultrasound transducer the transducer being a phased array
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N29/00Investigating or analysing materials by the use of ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves; Visualisation of the interior of objects by transmitting ultrasonic or sonic waves through the object
    • G01N29/22Details, e.g. general constructional or apparatus details
    • G01N29/24Probes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B8/00Diagnosis using ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic waves
    • A61B8/44Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device
    • A61B8/4444Constructional features of the ultrasonic, sonic or infrasonic diagnostic device related to the probe
    • A61B8/445Details of catheter construction

Abstract

A probe (12) for use in internally examining a gastro intestinal tract and adjacent organs includes a head (16) connected to an elongate body portion (18). A plurality of ultrasonic crystals (52) are spaced around the periphery of the head and the crystals are controlled to produce a real time scan of the tract which may be viewed or recorded. Fluid is delivered through lumens (42) in the body portion (18) to the external surface of the head to couple acoustically the crystals and wall of the tract. A see-ahead crystal array (50) is provided on the probe to enable the head to be manoeuvered within the tract. The probe is used to provide a method of internal examination which includes inserting the probe into the tract, energizing the crystals and acoustically coupling the crystals to the tract by supplying a fluid to the tract in the region of the head of the probe. <IMAGE>

Description

SPECIFICATION Apparatus and the method initial examination of the gastro intestinal tract The present invention relates to examination apparatus and to methods of using such apparatus. In particular the invention relates to apparatus and a method for internally examining a gastro intestinal tract.

Various methods and devices are known for obtaining information relating to the gastro intestinal tract.

The most popular of available methods for examining the G.l. tract is a Barium-based Xray technique. This consists of the introduction of Barium into the tract which makes it radiopaque. Pathology is then indicated indirectly by changes in the lining which is outlined by fluoroscopy and on several X-rays.

Both X-rays and fluoroscopy involve exposure of the corresponding portions of the patient to significant amounts of ionizing radiation.

Aside from the radiation hazard to both patient and examiner, the major disadvantage is that a definitive diagnosis is difficult to make in many cases because the information obtained is only indirect.

An alternative method has resulted from advances made in the field of fiber optics.

Here, a small diameter probe containing the fiber optics is inserted into the G.l. tract. By appropriate maneuvers, an experienced physician is able to visualize the lining of the tract.

Although there is no radiation hazard associated with this technique, several limitations are still present. The physician is again only able to visualize the lining of the tract. Further, the field of view is very limited and stems from physical limits of characteristics of fibre optic systems. Both limitations detract from the efficacy of detecting pathologies.

One immediate result of the limited field of view is that some lesions can be missed dependent on the skill of the physician. In addition, no record of the examination is made which implies that discussion with others based on what was seen is not possible and no visual images of the examination are available for further reference.

According therefore to the present invention there is provided a method of examining a gastro intestinal tract comprising inserting a probe having an ultrasound transducer array into the tract, provident a fluid medium between the array and the lining of the tract to couple the array and the lining, and energizing the array to produce an ultrasound image to the tract.

According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a probe suitable for use in internally inspecting a gastro intestinal tract comprising a head connected to a flexible cable, an ultrasound array mounted on the head, the array including a plurality of transducers circumferentially spaced around the head, and transmitting means to transmit signals from the transducers to a processing device to produce an image.

The present invention contemplates the insertion of a probe similar in size to a fiber optic probe that is acoustically coupled to the G.l. tract with an appropriate fluid medium.

The probe has the electroacoustic capability of providing a three-dimensional view of the structures surrounding the transducer. This means that the complete image is obtained without requiring mechanical rotations of the transducer within the patient.

If desirable, a method for locating the spatial position of the probe within the body is available. In this way, the location from which the calibrated image is obtained may be determined. From these images, diagnosis and location of lesions within the G.l. tract, beyond the lining and also in adjacent organs can be done directly.

An embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is a diagrammatic representation of apparatus for examining a gastro intestinal tract.

Figure 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1 with portions of the apparatus sectioned for clarity.

Figure 3 is a plan view of the apparatus of Fig. 2.

Figure 4 is a diagrammatic representation of a section of the apparatus shown in Fig. 3.

Referring now to the drawings, an examination apparatus 10 includes a probe 12 and processing apparatus generally designated 14.

The construction of the probe may best be seen in Figs. 2 and 3 and includes a head 16 and body portion 18. The body portion 18 is formed from an elongate tube 20 which is flexible in a direction transverse to its longitudinal axis, but sufficiently stiff to enable the probe to be pushed along the gastro intestinal tract. The tube 20 has a continuous peripheral wall 22 which smoothly merges with an exterior surface 24 of the head 16. The head 16 incorporates two ultrasound crystal arrays 48, 50. The array 48 includes a number of ultrasound crystals 52 which are circumferentially spaced around the head 16 to produce a sound image of the portion of the tract surronding the head 16. The arrays 48, 50 are driven by miniature crystal drivers electrically connected to an electrical cable 54 which extends along the tube 20 to a processor 56.

The processor 56 is operable to energize selectively each crystal 52 of the array 48 and to process the signals received by the crystal into a condition to be recorded by a recorder 58. The image of the tract can then be viewed on a viewer 60. The crystals 52 are energized in sequence so that a real time scan is obtained. This scan consists of a number of contiguous sections spanning 360 . Each sector is produced by appropriate temporal summation of the signals from crystal 52.

For example, with reference to Fig. 4, there is shown a group of crystals 52a, b, c, d, e.

The processor 56 initially energises crystal 52b and a short time thereafter energises crystals 52a and 52c to focus the wave produced by the crystal 52b. The wavefront is partially reflected by the tract wall and is received by the crystal 52 which produces an output transmitted by the cable 54 to the processor 56 for processing in a manner suitable for display on the viewer 60. The elapsed time between energisation of the crystal and the signal produced by the reflected wavefront is indicative of the distance of the tract wall from the crystal 52b. The wavefront may also be partially transmitted through the tract wall for reflection by adjacent organs to enable an extended of the tract and adjacent organs to be obtained, a partial reflection occuring at each density change of the material being insonated.The output of the processor 56 is therefore displayed as a series of points located on a radial line extending from the central point corresponding to the axis of the head 16 through a point corresponding to the location of the crystal 52b.

After receipt of the signal, the processor 56 selects and energises crystal 52c and shortly thereafter energises crystals 52b, 52d to focus the wavefront. A signal is received by the crystal 52c and processed to produce a second series of points on a second radial line corresponding to the line of insonation of the crystal 52c. The processor continues to energise successive crystals 52 to produce a 360 view of the tract. Such scanning occurs rapidly, i.e., more than 20 times/second so that a real time image of the tract is produced.

The operation of the processor to select and energise the crystals is known in the art and therefore will not be described further. The crystals 52 are formed from a series of slices of piezoelectric material and will usually number at least 50 although none may be used for greater resolution.

The array 50 which lies generally parallel to the end is also controlled by the processor 56 to produce an image of the tract immediately in front of the head 16, This image may be viewed during advance of the probe 12 on the viewer 60 to enable the head 16 to be advanced in the appropriate direction.

By virtue of the ability of the wavefront to be transmitted through material encountered in the tract, the nature and extent of an obstruction may be determined during advance of the probe 12 to mitigate the possibility of damage.

The interior 26 of the tube 20 accommodates four cable assemblies 28 equally spaced around the wall 22 and each of which includes a sleeve 30 and a cable 32. The sleeve 30 is secured to the wall 22 and the cable 32 attached to an under surface 34 of the head 16.

The cable 32 may slide relative to the sleeve 30 to change the relative orientation of the head 16 and the body portion 18.

Each cable assembly 28 is connected at its lower end to a comparitor 36 which is operable in response to a manual input to move the cable relative to the sleeve and produce a signal indicative of the relative movement of the cable and sleeve. Each comparitor 36 is connected to a position recorder 38 which also receives a signal from a translation transducer 40. The translation transducer 40 detects the movement of the probe along its longitudinal axis so that the position recorder 38 is able to record the direction of movement of the head 16 by virtue of the comparitor 36 and the translation of the probe in that direction. This enables a representation of the path of movement of the probe, and consrequently the shape of the gastro intestinal tract to be reconstructed.

The interior 26 of the tube 20 also houses three lumens 42 which are equally spaced about the axis of the tube and extend into the head 16. The lumens 42 terminate between an end surface 44 and the undersurface 34 are connected to the exterior surface 24 by a nozzle 46. The lumens 42 are connected to a fluid supply 48 which selectively supplies fluid to one or more of the lumens 42 for discharge through the respective nozzle 46.

A biopsy lumen 62 is accommodated in the head 16 on the longitudinal axis of the probe to permit insertion of a biopsy needle for sampling of material from the tract. In addition, the lumen 62 may be used to remove local air pockets from the tract by applying suction to the remote end of the lumen.

In operation, the probe 12 is advanced along the tract by viewing the image produced by the array 50 and manipulating the head during advancement. During such advancement the position recorder 38 records the movement of the probe along the tract to provide a record of the path of movement of the probe. During this time fluid is supplied from the supply 49 to the nozzles 46 and through the biopsy lumen 62 to achieve acoustical coupling for array 50. The array 50 is also useful in determining the nature of an obstruction in the tract, the extent of such an obstruction, and, of course, the appropriate action to take.

When the probe 12 has reached the desired postion in the tract, the array 48 is energized and fluid from the fluid supply 49 is directed along the lumens 42 and expelled from the nozzles 46 to provide a localized fluid environment. The fluid couples acoustically the crystals 52 and the tract wall and is provided intermittently as required to maintain the cou pling and the image quality. The head 16 may be centered in the tract by selective supply of fluid to one of the nozzles 46 so that the head is moved by the impulse from the nozzle away from the adjacent tract wall.

The probe 12 is then withdrawn progres sively and the image of the tract produced by the array 48 recorded. The output of the position recorder 38 may be recorded with the image of transducer array 48 to provide an indication of the location of the probe 12 within the tract corresponding to the image.

Thus a correlation between the position re corder data and the image recorder may be obtained.

It will be seen therefore that a three dimen sional image of the tract and beyond extend ing to adjacent organs is obtained for future consultation.

If desired, the position of the probe within a tract may be recorded by a radio transmitter integrally formed with the head and thereby avoid the necessity of the translation trans ducer, comparitors or position recorder. As a further alternative, the head 16 may be mag netically guided through the duct by external magnets placed around the body and selec tively controlled to vary the orientation of the head 16. If completely independent passage of the probe 16 through the tract is required, the probe may be administered as a capsule with an integral power source. The data repre senting the images of the array 48 may be transmitted as a radio signal for reception outside the tract. In this instance, the cou pling between the array 48 and the tract may be obtained by administering fluid with the capsule which will pass with the capsule through the tract.

An internal examination of the tract is, therefore, possible by use of the probe and by providing an acoustic coupling in the form of a localized fluid environment. This overcomes the problems associated with external ultra sound examination caused by gaseous pockets within the patient and enables accurate infor mation to be recorded and reviewed as re quires.

Claims (16)

1. A method of examining a gastro intesti nal tract comprising inserting a probe having an ultrasound transducer array into said tract, providing a fluid medium between said array and the lining of said tract to couple said array and said lining, and energizing said array to produce an ultrasound image.
2. A method according to claim 1 includ ing the further step of recording said image for subsequent reproduction.
3. A method according to claim 2 includ ing the step of correlating the position of said probe in said tract with said recorded image.
4. A method according to claim 1 includ ing the steps of inserting said probe into said tract, moving said probe along said tract whilst energizing said array, observing said image during such movement and correlating the position of said probe with said observed image during such movement.
5. A method according to claim 4 wherein said array comprises a plurality of circumferentially disposed transducers to provide a real time image of said tract.
6. A probe suitable for use in internally inspecting a gastro intestinal tract comprising a head connected to a flexible cable, an ultrasound array mounted on said head, said array including a plurality of transducers circumferentially spaced around said head and transmitting means to transmit signals from said transducers to a processing device to produce an image.
7. A probe according to claim 6 wherein said probe includes an ultrasound array on a leading surface of said probe to provide an image in the direction of movement of said probe.
8. A probe according to claim 6 or 7 wherein said head includes fluid outlet means to deliver fluid to said tract surrounding head.
9. A probe according to claim 8 wherein said fluid outlet means includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced nozzles and an axial lumen is provided in said tract and to accommodate a biopsy needle.
10. A probe according to claim 9 including means to vary the relative flow rate through said nozzles.
11. A probe according to any one of claims 6 to 10 including manipulating means to vary the orientation of said head to said cable.
12. Apparatus for examining internally a gastro intes#tinal tract comprising a processor, a probe, said probe having a head connected to a flexible cable, an ultrasound array mounted on said head and including a plurality of'transducers circumferentially spaced around said head and transmitting means connecting said probe and said processor, said processor selectively activating said transducers to scan sequentially about said head and produce of 360 real time image of said tract.
1 3. Apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said processor selectively activates a group of said transducers to focus a wavefront emitted from one of said transducers.
14. A method of examining a gastro intestinal tract substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
15. A probe suitable for use in internally inspecting a gastro intestinal tract constructed and arranged to operate substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
16. Apparatus for examining a gastro intestinal tract, such apparatus being constructed and arranged to operate substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
GB8109509A 1980-03-31 1981-03-26 Apparatus and method for examination of the gastro intestinal tract Expired GB2073418B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13539180A true 1980-03-31 1980-03-31

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GB2073418A true GB2073418A (en) 1981-10-14
GB2073418B GB2073418B (en) 1985-01-03

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JP (1) JPS5714338A (en)
DE (1) DE3111196A1 (en)
GB (1) GB2073418B (en)
NL (1) NL8101475A (en)

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0083973A1 (en) * 1982-01-07 1983-07-20 Technicare Corporation Ultrasound probe locator
GB2124057A (en) * 1982-07-15 1984-02-08 Yokogawa Electric Works Ltd Ultrasonic probe for use in ultrasonography
EP0139574A2 (en) * 1983-09-29 1985-05-02 Bruno Denis Lucien Fornage Ultrasonic probe for body tracts
DE3639321A1 (en) * 1985-12-18 1987-08-06 Karl Dr Wernecke Angiographic catheter set having a sound microprobe for the sonographic visualisation of vessels
DE3716964A1 (en) * 1986-05-21 1987-11-26 Olympus Optical Co Ultrasound endoscope
GB2208138A (en) * 1987-06-19 1989-03-01 Circulation Res Ltd Ultrasonic transducer array around a flexible tube
US4817616A (en) * 1987-10-30 1989-04-04 Wayne State University Auto switch biplane prostate probe
GB2212267A (en) * 1987-11-11 1989-07-19 Circulation Res Ltd Three dimensional ultrasonic imaging apparatus
US5617858A (en) * 1994-08-30 1997-04-08 Vingmed Sound A/S Apparatus for endoscopic or gastroscopic examination
US8579800B2 (en) 2011-03-22 2013-11-12 Fabian Emura Systematic chromoendoscopy and chromocolonoscopy as a novel systematic method to examine organs with endoscopic techniques

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE3529341A1 (en) * 1985-08-16 1987-02-19 Telefunken Electronic Gmbh Solar cell module
JPH01300940A (en) * 1988-05-31 1989-12-05 Olympus Optical Co Ltd Ultrasonic endoscope

Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0083973A1 (en) * 1982-01-07 1983-07-20 Technicare Corporation Ultrasound probe locator
GB2124057A (en) * 1982-07-15 1984-02-08 Yokogawa Electric Works Ltd Ultrasonic probe for use in ultrasonography
EP0139574A2 (en) * 1983-09-29 1985-05-02 Bruno Denis Lucien Fornage Ultrasonic probe for body tracts
EP0139574A3 (en) * 1983-09-29 1985-06-19 Bruno Denis Lucien Fornage Ultrasonic probe for body tracts
DE3639321A1 (en) * 1985-12-18 1987-08-06 Karl Dr Wernecke Angiographic catheter set having a sound microprobe for the sonographic visualisation of vessels
DE3716964A1 (en) * 1986-05-21 1987-11-26 Olympus Optical Co Ultrasound endoscope
GB2208138B (en) * 1987-06-19 1991-08-07 Circulation Res Ltd Tubular probe
GB2208138A (en) * 1987-06-19 1989-03-01 Circulation Res Ltd Ultrasonic transducer array around a flexible tube
US4817616A (en) * 1987-10-30 1989-04-04 Wayne State University Auto switch biplane prostate probe
GB2212267A (en) * 1987-11-11 1989-07-19 Circulation Res Ltd Three dimensional ultrasonic imaging apparatus
US5081993A (en) * 1987-11-11 1992-01-21 Circulation Research Limited Methods and apparatus for the examination and treatment of internal organs
GB2246632B (en) * 1987-11-11 1992-07-15 Intravascular Res Ltd Method and apparatus for the examination and treatment of internal organs
GB2212267B (en) * 1987-11-11 1992-07-29 Circulation Res Ltd Methods and apparatus for the examination and treatment of internal organs
US5617858A (en) * 1994-08-30 1997-04-08 Vingmed Sound A/S Apparatus for endoscopic or gastroscopic examination
US8579800B2 (en) 2011-03-22 2013-11-12 Fabian Emura Systematic chromoendoscopy and chromocolonoscopy as a novel systematic method to examine organs with endoscopic techniques

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
NL8101475A (en) 1981-10-16
JPS5714338A (en) 1982-01-25
GB2073418B (en) 1985-01-03
DE3111196A1 (en) 1982-02-04

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PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee