Siemens shows a unified loop of cardiovascular technologies at ACC

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Siemens Medical Solutions closed the gap between old and new at this week's American College of Cardiology Conference, March 6 - 8, in Orlando, Fla., showing the tried-and-true anchors of cardiovascular imaging - echo and cardiac cath - as well as shed some light on the promises of cardiac CT and MR.  
   
Siemens highlighted technologies developed specifically for the cath lab, including the AXIOM Artis dFC magnetic navigation system, which combines a digital fluoroscopic imaging system - the AXIOM Artis dFC - with Stereotaxis Inc.'s Niobe magnetic navigation system. The system uses computer-controlled permanent magnets external to the body for orienting the magnetic tip of specially designed catheters and guidewires.
   
The AXIOM Artis dBC is a flexible cardiac and angiography system for diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac interventions. The Artis dBC is a biplane C-arm system equipped with new digital flat-panel detectors in both planes, which enables the system to reach all imaging speeds necessary for cardiology procedures and interventions.
   
The AXIOM Artis dTC is a digital cardiac imaging system, also equipped with flat-panel detector (FD) technology, and is supported by a ceiling-mounted C-arm for greater accessibility.
   
In cardiac CT, Siemens exhibited the new SOMATOM Sensation 64 that allows 64 slices per rotation and 0.37 second rotation time to offer speed and sub-millimeter volume coverage. Siemens said that 200 64-slice CT systems have been installed, 80 of which include the Somatom Sensation Cardiac64 in hospitals' cardiovascular departments or institutions specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
   
Siemens also recently announced the first outcomes of Speed4D technology. Speed4D includes the Straton x-ray tube, WorkStream4D for workflow optimization and data handling, syngo InSpace4D for evaluation of the moving heart, and CARE Dose4D for automated real-time dose adaptation. The latter is an initiative to reduce radiation exposure in CT examinations, Siemens said. The CARE Dose4D analyzes the cross-sectional anatomy of each individual patient in real-time and adjusts the emitted x-ray dose accordingly, without the need for user interaction or an additional topogram to determine the patient attenuation.
   
In cardiac MR, Siemens demonstrated the Magnetom Avanto, a 1.5T MR system that incorporates total imaging matrix (Tim) technology. Tim is a whole body surface coil design with 76 integrated coil elements and up to 32 channels [76x32], and its integrated coil weighs less than two pounds. It also features Siemens iPAT (integrated Parallel Acquisition Technique), which offers fast image acquisition with parallel imaging in all dimensions, including head to toe, front to back, and side to side.
   
In addition, Siemens highlighted its self-gating MR technology that eliminates the need for wires and electrodes to be attached to the patient. The technology optimizes visualization, allowing cardiologists to better plan for procedures, such as angioplasty, and prevent further cardiac illness, Siemens said.
   
Siemens announced new capabilities for the Acuson Sequoia C512 and C256 echocardiography systems. The Paragon release for both echo systems offers patient-specific imaging through TE ultrasound technology for Doppler, the automatic optimization of scale, baseline, gain and dynamic range for Doppler spectral images on all patient types. In addition, two-dimensional (2D) imaging can be optimized for gain and brightness for individual patients. TEQ technology is available on every transducer.
   
Additional performance enhancements that make up the Paragon release include fourSigh TEE view for the V5M transducer, which is designed to provide physicians easier access to 3D/4D images. The on-board method provides simple acquisition, review, manipulation and dynamic display capabilities of gated 3D datasets using the V5M TEE transducer for 3D surface or multiplanar reconstruction. This provides physicians a more detailed, anatomical display of the heart and clinical disease process.
   
For nuclear medicine cardiovascular imaging, Siemens showcased its c.cam reclining dedicated cardiac gamma camera system. The gamma camera incorporates e.soft, Siemens syngo-based nuclear medicine software that meets the high-throughput and high quality demands of cardiology practices. For post-processing, Siemens e.soft@LEONARDO Workplace integrates