Toshiba America Medical Systems showcased its Aquilion One volume CT scanner, with a focus on its image noise reduction capability and its advantages with scanning children, at the annual meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) held last week in Orlando, Fla.
"The Aquilion One has a coverage area of 320 detector rows, can capture actual organ movement--like blood flowing through the heart--and can image an entire organ in one gantry rotation. Additionally, the Aquilion One can capture the heart in one heart beat," said Toshiba spokesperson Rob Young in an interview.
Participants at the SCCT meeting saw that Toshiba's proven noise reduction algorithms are employed in the Aquilion One. Areas of low photon count often result in streak artifacts. Boost 3D, an adaptive 3D filter, corrects the raw data where there is a disproportionate loss in x-ray signal and applies the 3D filter locally to reduce the image noise and streak artifacts.
"The technique can either be applied to enhance images using conventional mAs settings, or to allow low-dose imaging with acceptable image quality," Young said.
A second technique, Quantum Denoising Software (QDS) helps minimize noise in the reconstructed images by smoothing areas of uniform density, while preserving the edge information of the image. QDS works in both two and three dimensions and can reduce image noise allowing a corresponding savings in patient dose. Both techniques help reduce dose by up to 80 percent, Young said.
He emphasized that such a reduction in radiation exposure is particularly noteworthy in the pediatric population. Many children with congenital anomalies undergo repeated imaging studies. "Not only are they spared excessive radiation exposure with the Aquilion One, but they also do not need to be heavily sedated," Young said.
"This is an advantage for workflow in a busy facility. Heavy sedation can add hours in the front end, as well as significant time in the back end while the patient recovers," he said.
A final note about the Aquilion One is its capability to do 4D perfusion imaging, showing up to 16 cm of anatomical coverage, enough to capture the entire brain or heart, and show its movement such as blood flow.