Siemens' RSNA launches span CT, MRI, x-ray, and US modalities

2007 11 26 22 44 56 706

CHICAGO - Multimodality vendor Siemens Medical Solutions of Malvern, PA, is touting a range of new systems and technologies, including a family of CT scanners, a premium ultrasound scanner, a pair of MRI systems, and a robotic-controlled interventional x-ray system.


Siemens is using the RSNA platform to highlight its new Somatom Definition AS family of CT scanners, launched just prior to the conference and shown at the meeting as works-in-progress. The systems are based on single-source architecture and come in 40-, 64-, and 128-slice configurations.

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Siemens is featuring its new Somatom Definition AS family of CT scanners.
The "AS" in the product name stands for "adaptive scanning," a concept in which scanning parameters are adapted based the medical requirements of different types of patients, ranging from pediatric to obese to emergency situations. The scanners also actively manage radiation dose for exams, with an "active dose shield" dynamically removing unnecessary radiation dose, according to the company.

Somatom Definition AS features a 200-cm maximum scan range, 78-cm gantry bore, 300-msec rotation time, 100-kW x-ray tube, and 650-lb patient weight limit. The scanners are pending 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Siemens is rebranding its dual-source scanner as Somatom Definition Dual Source, and will continue to target the system at facilities that want to focus on cardiac scanning, thanks to its 83-msec temporal resolution, which is important for scanning patients with irregular heartbeats. The top-of-the-line Definition AS scanner can also perform cardiac imaging, with temporal resolution of 150 msec.


Siemens added to its portfolio with the introduction of the Acuson S2000 ultrasound system, the first unit in the company's new S Class of ultrasound products.

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Siemens' Acuson S2000 ultrasound system.
Acuson S2000, scheduled for availability late in the first quarter of 2008, will feature applications for general imaging, including obstetrics and gynecology, as well as vascular and cardiac imaging.

Anticipated features include the current work-in-progress Acoustic Radiation Forced Impulse (ARFI) imaging. Siemens is working with Duke University in Durham, NC, on the development of ARFI, which would use acoustic energy to displace tissue for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of deep-tissue stiffness. Siemens noted that current research suggests that this type of assessment may be useful for differentiation of abnormalities, such as liver tumors, or the quantification of fibrosis progression.

The Acuson S2000 system is also capable of integrating Siemens' Silicon Ultrasound technology, which uses semiconductor processing techniques to create a line of probes to enable volumetric 4D imaging in a wide range of applications.

Siemens is preparing Acuson S2000 for automated breast scanning (ABS), a technique for automated, reproducible 3D ultrasound volumes of the breast. ABS aids in the screening, diagnosis, and follow-up care of breast cancer supplementing mammography, especially in women with dense breast tissue.

Siemens is also showing its P Class of portable ultrasound devices, such as the Acuson P10 and the laptop-based Acuson P50 system. Acuson P10 weighs 1.6 lb and is approximately 5.5 inches in length and 2 inches in height. It has a 3.7-inch monitor and a battery that can operate the device for approximately one hour.

Acuson P10 is designed for cardiology, emergency medicine, and ob/gyn applications, and stores both still images and clips. By way of a USB port, images can be transferred to another source for viewing.

Acuson P50 is a handheld, laptop-based system that operates on a standard Windows platform, and is designed for mobile use in cardiology and vascular imaging. It offers excellent tissue differentiation, high spatial and temporal resolution, and color and Doppler imaging. The system can integrate syngo Ultrasound Workplace for advanced clinical applications and image review and analysis.


The MRI section of Siemens' booth is featuring two recently launched products: the economically priced Magnetom Essenza 1.5-tesla scanner and the 3-tesla Magnetom Verio.

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The Magnetom Essenza 1.5-tesla scanner is a highlight in Siemens' booth.
Essenza is designed to help facilities challenged by the current economic environment to either acquire a 1.5-tesla scanner for the first time or add a second scanner if their throughput warrants. The system will cost as much as $500,000 less than other 1.5-tesla scanners, according to Siemens.

The company said it was able to reduce the system's price by limiting the optional configurations that are available. Essenza comes with 25-element coil and eight independent radiofrequency channels, and supports the company's Tim (Total image matrix) coil concept. The scanner has a 145-cm bore length and 440-lb patient table weight limit.

Siemens is also touting the scanner's IsoCenter Matrix coil, a built-in nine-element coil that enables users to shift the scanner's homogeneity field-of-view off-center to support applications such as shoulder imaging. Siemens has begun installing the system in the U.S.

Magnetom Verio is designed to provide routine clinical imaging at the 3-tesla field strength. The system includes a 70-cm patient aperture, patient table with 550-lb weight limit, and Tim gradient coils. The company is also promoting its no-contrast and low-contrast techniques, such as Native, Twist, and ASL noncontrast brain perfusion. The first Verio scanner will be installed in January.


The big highlight in the x-ray section of the Siemens booth is Artis zeego, the flagship system in the company's new Artis zee family of interventional x-ray systems.

Artis zeego features a robotic floor-mounted positioner that gives the system new flexibility in patient positioning, according to the company. The system's rotation center can be placed anywhere in a sphere around the patient, and the unit also features an enhanced imaging chain that improves image quality for interventional procedures.

The adjustable isocenter also enables off-center rotational angiography for multiple body areas, and supports advanced 3D imaging techniques, including cross-sectional imaging with the company's DynaCT technique. When performing DynaCT, zeego acquires images in two different axes, and merges them together with software to produce larger volumes than available with DynaCT produced on older Artis systems.

Siemens is expecting FDA clearance for Artis zeego in the spring of 2008, and the unit is being shown as a work-in-progress at the RSNA show. The system is available in a single-plane configuration.

Siemens has also rebranded the interventional systems in the Artis Axiom line as Artis zee, with offerings ranging from biplane angiography to multipurpose fluoroscopy systems. As part of the repositioning, the older systems have received a new user interface with a three-button mouse controller and a new slimmed-down tableside touch control. The enhancements are works-in-progress, and will be offered standard on new Artis zee systems when they begin shipping.


Mammomat Inspiration is a new full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system that will serve as a platform for the company's foray into digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). It features a new digital detector based on amorphous selenium with a 24 x 29-cm detector area. The system also will boast a shorter time between exposures, at 27 seconds.

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Mammomat Inspiration is Siemens' new full-field digital mammography system.
Siemens made efficient workflow and enhanced throughput a focus in developing the system, with a "one-click" protocol for acquiring images. Mammomat Inspiration is being shown as a work-in-progress, and Siemens did not provide an estimate for the commercial launch of the unit in the U.S., given the need to conduct clinical studies in preparation for a submission to the FDA. The unit is being sold internationally, and DBT will be made available to buyers via a software upgrade when the technology becomes available. The company said that its existing FFDM unit, Mammomat NovationDR, will remain in its product line.

Another new mammography system, Novation S, is targeted at facilities that only conduct screening mammography and have no need for diagnostic applications. The system is 25% to 30% cheaper than a full-featured Novation unit, and does not include magnification, digital spot imaging, or biopsy capability. Siemens believes the system is a good choice for facilities with multiple mammography systems that want to purchase a dedicated system for screening use.

Finally, Siemens is demonstrating the Mammotest prone breast biopsy table, which is based on technology divested from Hologic following that Bedford, MA, company's acquisition of Fischer Imaging. Siemens began shipping the Mammotest table commercially in summer 2007 after showing it as a work-in-progress at the 2006 RSNA show.

PACS/healthcare informatics

Portal technology is a focus for Siemens' healthcare informatics display at RSNA 2007. The company's syngo Portals serve as one element to improve workflow, providing the access point to information and applications for the daily tasks of radiologists and other caregivers.

Siemens highlighted its syngo Portal Radiologist for radiologists performing check requests, image reads, and report sign-off and verification. The technology is designed to help radiologists organize their work step-by-step. The syngo Voice online dictation tool is featured in syngo Portal Radiologist to enhance reporting quality and speed.

One other syngo Portal technology is currently under development. Syngo Portal Referring Physician will be designed for role-based workflow support, allowing referring physicians to interact with radiology departments. The Portal also will be able to schedule appointments from the ward or referring physicians' offices, and offer predefined request sheets and the ability for referring physicians to search for available appointment times.

Also at RSNA 2007, Siemens is offering syngo TrueD, a multimodality application for cancer management. The latest version enhances the ability to compare patient scans over time by allowing users to simultaneously display three studies, such as a baseline and two follow-up exams. Siemens has upgraded the visualization of respiratory gated studies for lesion tracking across the respiratory cycle. The application also enables the reading of patient scans from hybrid imaging systems, such as PET/CT and SPECT/CT.

Siemens is also showing a version of its RIS/PACS for the nonhospital market. The scaled-down technology offers all the features of the company's full-size RIS/PACS to standalone practices and imaging centers.

The RIS/PACS will include NextGen Healthcare's practice management and billing tools, as well as other clinical and business process. Siemens anticipates the enhancements will be on the RIS/PACS in the first quarter of 2008.

Molecular imaging

Siemens is highlighting its high-definition PET system, HD-PET, designed to consistently sharpen and define images across the entire field-of-view.

HD-PET is the result of proprietary technology that optimizes image uniformity, resolution, and contrast. The enhanced 2-mm resolution also enables physicians to visualize small lesions from the center to the edges of the field-of-view.

Siemens is also showing Symbia T16, a 16-slice SPECT imaging system, which recently had its first worldwide installation at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The system features a 70-cm opening, and the gantry can support 500 lb of patient weight.

In addition, the Symbia E is the newest addition to Siemens' line of SPECT and SPECT/CT imaging systems. Symbia E is designed for high-quality SPECT imaging and leverages technology from the company's gamma camera.

By Brian Casey and Wayne Forrest staff writers
November 27, 2007

Related Reading

Siemens launches new Artis x-ray line, November 25, 2007

Siemens launches Acuson P50 ultrasound scanner, November 20, 2007

Siemens to launch Definition AS CT line, November 15, 2007

Despite DRA, Siemens posts healthy profits in Q4, November 8, 2007

Road to RSNA, Healthcare Informatics, Siemens Medical Solutions, November 8, 2007

Copyright © 2007

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