Sonosite 180 Hand-carried Ultrasound System Effective in Detecting Neck Artery Blockages

March 04, 2002

Results of Study Presented at the American Stroke Association's 27th International Stroke Conference
BOTHELL, WA, March 4, 2002 - Sonosite, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONO), world leaders in the hand-carried, point-of-care ultrasound market, today announced the results of a new study examining the effectiveness of the Sonosite 180 system in detecting blockages in carotid (neck) arteries. Results of the study were presented during the American Stroke Association's 27th International Stroke Conference held February 7-9, 2002 in San Antonio, Texas. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association.

"Previously, ultrasonography has not been considered to be a convenient stroke-screening tool, because of lengthy scanning times," said Ulf Schminke, MD, lead author of the study and research fellow at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "Vascular imaging with the Sonosite 180 system allows for brief and high quality evaluations at the point of examination."

"Hand-carried ultrasound accurately and quickly identifies severe blockage of the carotid arteries," said Charles H. Tegeler, MD, director of the Neurosonology Lab at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "Technology, like the Sonosite 180 system, could potentially revolutionize vascular screening by enabling physicians to accurately identify patients having increased risk for stroke."

The study, "Screening for Carotid Artery Stenosis with Power Doppler Imaging Using a Portable Duplex Ultrasonography Device," was conducted at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Researchers screened carotid arteries using the Sonosite 180 system in a prospective study of 51 patients. The degree of blockage in these patients was estimated by measuring the area ratio and the diameter ratio with 89.7 percent accuracy (area ratio) and 84.3 percent accuracy (diameter ratio) in detecting severe blockages of carotid arteries. The Sonosite 180 system can be carried by the examiner to the screening site in a backpack, rather than requiring the patient to go to an imaging center, such as a hospital's radiology department. The results of the study suggest that with its portability and relative accuracy, the Sonosite 180 system can provide physicians with another tool for the detection of severe carotid artery blockage that could potentially increase the number of patients being screened.

About Sonosite
Sonosite, Inc. ( is the innovator and world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, with an installed base of more than 20,000 systems. The Company, headquartered near Seattle, Washington is represented by eight subsidiaries and a global distribution netwok in over 75 countries. Sonosite's small, lightweight systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high performance ultrasound to the point of patient care. The Company employs approximately 450 people worldwide.