The NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance approving NHS use of new generation scanners to help diagnose and manage patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who are difficult to image. The guidance, which was prompted by Siemens proffering its SOMATOM® Definition Flash dual source scanner for evaluation, draws evidence from 24 published papers of which 20 cited use of Siemens dual source scanners. Dual source CT remains unique to Siemens scanners, and utilizes two X-ray sources and two banks of detectors. Such developments have enabled continuous improvement of spatial and temporal resolution to optimize visualization within the coronary vessel, whilst also driving down radiation dose.
Peter Harrison, Divisional Director of Imaging at Siemens Healthcare states, “The NICE guidance is a welcome approval of new generation CT scanners, and I am delighted that it draws evidence from so many experiences of Siemens Dual Source scanners. The guidance is not intended to be a comparison report, especially as Dual Source CT is still unrivalled and unique to the market.”
Siemens innovations within cardiac CT build upon the high end single source Definition AS+, launched at Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2008. This system, with a large bore of 78cm and increased tube rotation speed delivers a full rotation within 0.3 seconds. This provided temporal resolution down to 150ms, quick enough to freeze the cardiac motion on a wider range of patients – essential to complement the spatial resolution affording clarity of intra vascular detail, whilst delivering very low dose. These two parameters working in combination have driven Siemens’ global installed base of new generation Cardiac CT scanners beyond 1,750 systems.
The further development of Dual Source scanners such as the SOMATOM Definition Flash offer still greater flexibility of examination techniques to avoid patient exclusions, not only in cardiac imaging but in all fields of CT imaging, such as paediatric and trauma imaging. Ever mindful of patient dose, Peter Harrison continues, “Dual sources do not necessitate increased dose. In over 64,000 cardiac ‘Flash’ exams we continue to experience an average radiation dose of 0.85mSv. Moreover, Siemens’ latest iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) which boasts FDA-approved dose potential of up to 60% adds additional patient safety without compromising the high image quality of the 128 slice z-Sharp acquisition.”
Deepa Gopalan, Consultant Cardiovascular Radiologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust states, “Whilst dose reduction continues to be important, cardiac CT today is also about ease of use of both the scanner and the evaluation of the images. The combination of the Siemens scanner and the new syngo.via platform move cardiac imaging into a new dimension in terms of speed and confidence.”
Siemens continues to innovate and launched its new Stellar detector at RSNA 2011. This revolution in detector design fully integrates the electronic components in a manner that virtually eliminates electronic noise. Peter Harrison adds, “This will continue to push the boundaries of cardiac imaging with ultra thin slices delivering very high spatial resolution for unprecedented levels of visual detail. The new detector is also designed to optimize ultra low signal imaging which is invaluable for obese and paediatric patients, and dual energy applications.” The Stellar Detector is expected to be available from summer 2012 and will be available within the SOMATOM Definition Flash Dual Source scanner, as well as single source systems such as the SOMATOM Definition Edge (also announced at RSNA 2011).
About Siemens Healthcare
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimising clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2011 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.5 billion euros and profit of around 1.3 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.
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