By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
December 1, 2013

Siemens Healthcare has launched its new Somatom Force dual-source CT scanner at RSNA 2013 in Chicago.

The Somatom Force enables considerably faster imaging, more precise diagnoses, and reduces dose for some of the most challenging patients, such as patients who are very young, suffering from renal insufficiency, seriously ill, or obese, according to Siemens.

For renal insufficiency patients, Somatom Force uses less contrast medium. Initial research shows it is possible to conduct chest studies with between 25 mL and 35 mL of contrast versus the commonly administered 90 mL to 110 mL, Siemens said. The reduction is possible due to two Vectron x-ray tubes in Somatom force that enable routine examinations at tube voltages of 70 kV to 100 kV. The low tube voltage increases the contrast-to-noise ratio and can reduce the amount of contrast medium accordingly.

The Somatom Force also has an acquisition rate of 737 mm/sec, so an entire chest and abdomen study can be performed in just one second. Because of the acquisition speed, patients with high heart rates can be imaged without disruptive motion artifacts. In research, Somatom Force delivered diagnostic-quality images at a low dose for a patient with a 90 beats-per-minute heart rate, with no use of beta-blockers to slow the heart rate.

The scanner also has an enlarged 50-cm field-of-view in turbo flash mode, which has an acquisition rate of almost 400 mm/sec, allowing depiction of the entire chest in roughly one second.

For lung cancer screening, Somatom Force can have up to 50% lower radiation dose versus that of comparable CT systems, which is attributable to two spectral filters (selective photon shields) that optimize the x-ray spectrum to improve the air/soft-tissue contrast. Early research shows achievable dose values of 0.1 mSv for a lung scan.

Somatom Force is pending 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is not yet commercially available in the U.S.

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