According to Kalorama Information, a leading healthcare market research publisher, ultrasound and MRI systems become more effective when combined with each other. Other useful information was discussed in a recent report titled “Medical Imaging Markets: MRI and Ultrasound”. It was mentioned that the global revenues for MRI grew by 6% between 2010 and 2011. Ultrasound systems, on the other hand, witnessed growth by 4% during the same period.
Among the examples of ultrasound and MRI combinations is rotator cuff. In this example, ultrasound is considered more cost effective while MRI is more used for elevating the rotator cuff. During a revision of a cost utility analysis, it was found that using ultrasound as a starting medical imaging test for a rotator cuff tear, followed by a pre-operative MRI to determine the disease or disorder, can be very powerful and effective mixed imaging plan.
Joe Constance, Kalorama's imaging analyst and the author of the report, said "Ultrasound is a cheaper imaging modality, yet MRI can provide more depth. So it's not a surprise to see ultrasound recommended for the initial medical imaging test and an MRI as a secondary test to find any alternate diagnosis and give the surgeon the needed anatomy."
The report also discussed another issue, which is using combination of imaging modalities in breast cancer. It was mentioned that using breast ultrasound along with MRI helps in identification of lesions that sometimes are not identified with mammography. In addition, ultrasound can be used as a starting procedure to determine if a certain lesion is malignant or benign. This approach became accepted following a study that took place at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.