Until relatively recently, most CT vendors repurposed existing CT products in their diagnostic radiology portfolio to radiation oncology facilities. But with Aquilion Exceed LB, Canon decided to design a CT system from the ground up for use in radiation therapy planning, according to Erin Angel, managing director of Canon's CT business unit.
"We focused on radiation oncology and CT simulation, and asked, why does radiation oncology have to accept a lesser scanner than radiology again and again?" Angel told AuntMinnie.com.
Canon's radiation oncology customers told the company that they wanted a CT scanner with as wide a bore as possible to accommodate patient positioning requirements, while dosimetrists said they would prefer a system in which data in the entire field-of-view was reconstructed. Finally, users also expressed interest in a fully featured scanner that could be used for diagnostic radiology applications when it wasn't in use for radiation therapy planning.
Aquilion Exceed LB represents the culmination of these design criteria. The system is a 160-slice premium CT scanner with 4 cm of coverage per rotation and a 90-cm bore, which Canon believes is the widest in the industry. Data is reconstructed across the entirety of the 90-cm field of view, and the system also uses Canon's Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) Deep Learning Reconstruction (DLR) technology, pioneered on the company's diagnostic radiology CT line.
Canon's new Aquilion Exceed LB scanner features a 90-cm bore. Image courtesy of Canon.
Canon also made workflow a major emphasis of the system, according to Dhruv Mehta, senior manager of solutions marketing for CT at Canon. The scanner includes workflow automation such as one-touch 3D isocentering to enable faster image acquisition, while AiCE reconstruction enables the creation of more accurate contouring. The scanner's table can even be moved laterally 8.5 cm in either direction to make patient positioning easier.
Radiation oncology can be a price-sensitive market for CT, so Canon ensured that Aquilion Exceed LB has enough features to enable the system to be used for diagnostic radiology use when it's not needed for radiation therapy planning. Canon sees the system as a shared-services product that can even perform interventional applications like CT fluoroscopy.
"Being able to use the system for shared services helps us maximize a facility's return on investment," Mehta said.
Aquilion Exceed LB is pending 510(k) clearance. International shipments outside the U.S. are ready to start now, the company said.
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