EAI adds 3D imaging and diagnostic tools to EVT's system for repairing aortic aneurysms
AMES, Iowa--January 6, 1997--In a compelling blend of 3D graphics and medicine, Engineering Animation, Inc. (NASDAQ: EAII) is developing a software solution for EndoVascular Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVTI) that will initially be used to help revolutionize the treatment of unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).
EAI's software will be used as a 3D visualization and diagnostic tool to guide the use of EVT's new Endovascular Grafting System (EGS System)--a less invasive, less costly alternative to open vascular surgery that should result in lower mortality, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and quicker patient recoveries.
"EAI's software significantly reduces the time period from diagnosis to endovascular repair, providing expedited care for critical patients in need of immediate attention," said Jim Fitzsimmons, president and chief executive officer at EVT. "In addition, the software produces a computer-generated 3D model of the patient's internal anatomy, where aortic conditions can be better assessed and examined prior to treatment."
Software Furthers EVT's Breakthrough Medical Procedure
The EGS System, currently in Phase II FDA clinical trials, is a breakthrough alternative to traditional AAA surgery. Requiring only a small groin incision, the procedure involves transporting EVT's proprietary EndoGraft prosthesis to the aneurysm site in a delivery catheter. The prosthesis is implanted across the AAA--isolating it from blood flow and pressurization--thus preventing aneurysm expansion and minimizing the potential for rupture.
"EAI's experience using 3D visualization tools in sophisticated manufacturing, as well as scientific applications, complements EVT's mission to advance this alternative to open vascular surgery," said Fitzsimmons. "Software like this helps transform medical research into real-world medical applications."
The software enhances the process of evaluating patient eligibility for the procedure by automatically calculating key aortic measurements used to determine the correct type and size of graft needed by the patient. Doctors then verify these measurements, which is quicker and less tedious than previous methods of measuring and calculating the data by hand.
Advanced visualization technologies allow doctors to "fly through" a patient's aortic anatomy on the computer. Generated from the actual CT data, these realistic models provide a virtual environment where doctors can assess and determine a patient's condition without performing invasive procedures on the patient. The internal anatomy is automatically segmented by the computer, enabling doctors to identify structures and discern between pathology and healthy tissue.
"The computer images on the screen are just like opening up a patient and looking at their anatomy," said Fitzsimmons.
Important Advances For a Serious Cardiovascular Condition
AAAs are one of the most serious cardiovascular conditions, afflicting nearly 1.5 million people in the United States. This localized expansion of the aorta can rupture if left untreated, in most cases resulting in death. If an AAA is discovered, elective open surgery repair averages a morbidity rate of 15 percent to 40 percent.
"EAI is excited about incorporating our biomedical visualization and high-speed rendering technologies into EVT's new medical procedure," said Martin Vanderploeg, Ph.D., EAI's executive vice president and chief technology officer. "Our visualization solutions cut across many disciplines, and we are thrilled to be a part of medical history as EVT makes health care more affordable and comfortable for the patient."
EAI specializes in applying 3D visualization technology to meet the productivity, communication, education and entertainment needs of its clients through three interrelated product lines: 3D visualization software, interactive multimedia and custom animation.
EAI's software products address the 3D visualization and digital prototyping needs of professionals in a wide range of industries. These high-speed, integrated 3D software products are used across the conceptual, design, analysis and manufacturing phases of product development.
EAI also uses 3D technology to develop interactive multimedia programs for clients in the consumer and educational markets. Completed CD-ROM titles include The Dynamic Human, CardioViewer 3D, The Dissectable Human and 3D Animation in the Courtroom. In addition to titles published on CD-ROM, EAI also produces custom interactive programs for corporations, museums, libraries, hospitals and universities.
The company's corporate headquarters and technology center are located in Ames, Iowa, with additional offices in Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Portland, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City and Amsterdam.
EndoVascular Technologies, Inc. designs, develops and manufacturers minimally invasive endovascular systems to repair diseased or damaged vascular structures. The company's Endovascular Grafting System or EGS System provides catheter-based delivery and implantation of a specialized, sutureless prosthesis to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms. The EGS system is designed to offer a minimally invasive alternative to the open surgical procedure performed today.
In the United States, EVT's Tube EGS System and Bifurcated EGSSystem are in Phase II clinical trials. Both products are also in clinical trials throughout Europe and have received marketing approval in Australia. The company's Aortoiliac EGS is also in a Phase II clinical trial in the United States, and European trials are targeted to begin in the first quarter of 1997.
Slides, videotape and electronic images are available from EAI upon request. For more information about EAI, visit us at www.eai.com.