CHICAGO - Toshiba America Medical Systems hopes to make high-field MRI more palatable for patients with Excelart, a new 1.5-tesla scanner the Tustin, CA company is featuring in its RSNA booth this week. In addition to a wide-magnet bore, Excelart features a new noise suppression system that Toshiba claims can reduce gradient noise by as much as 90%.
To develop Excelart, Toshiba increased the size of the scanner's patient opening to 65 cm, which the company calls the widest in the industry. That should help create a less claustrophobic environment for patients, according to John Zimmer, vice president of marketing at Toshiba.
Gradient noise is another major factor that affects patient comfort during MRI scans. And while new open- and wide-bore designs are making magnets less confining, gradient noise has been getting worse due to new advanced imaging techniques like diffusion/perfusion imaging, Zimmer said.
Toshiba addressed the problem of gradient noise in Excelart with Pianissimo, a unique new gradient design that isolates gradients to the floor rather than to the magnet. Pianissimo also surrounds the magnet's gradient coils in a vacuum, further reducing noise. Toshiba is highlighting Pianissimo's effectiveness during the RSNA show with a tape recording that demonstrates the technique's ability to reduce noise.
Excelart will replace Visart as Toshiba's offering in the high-field MRI segment. The company expects clearance for the base version of Excelart this month, while Pianissimo should get the Food and Drug Administration's nod month or so later.By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
December 1, 1999
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