What is the major difference between the radial and linear echoendoscopes?
The major difference between the radial and linear echoendoscopes is in the way images are acquired.
The ultrasound transducer at the tip of the radial echoendoscope rotates 360 degrees and acquires cross-sectional images in a plane perpendicular to the long axis of the echoendoscope.
On a linear echoendoscope, the transducer does not rotate and provides a 120-degree image parallel to the shaft of the echoendoscope.
This enables visualization of a needle passing through the biopsy channel of the echoendoscope into the targeted tissue, allowing fine needle aspiration (FNA) unlike with a radial echoendoscope.