Around the exhibit floor, workhorse x-ray units of all kinds debuted - with the focus on digital and computed radiography. Special procedure units for interventional work now have the added benefit of flat panel detectors - completing the link of x-ray to the digital radiology department.
Toshiba America Medical Systems used RSNA as the launching pad for the T.RAD Plus Series of traditional radiographic systems featuring digital radiography capabilities. The series includes both floor and ceiling-mounted configurations and systems with one or two DR panels. Toshiba claims the industry's fastest image preview time, according to Don Volz, director, X-ray Business Unit. The T.RAD Plus Series features a 17x17 field of view.
For vascular imaging, Toshiba also demonstrated the single-plane Infinix VC-i. A new 3D digital angiography (3D-DA) protocol displays intricate bone and neurovascular structures in three dimensions to assist in interventional procedures.
Toshiba's 3D-DA combines digital subtraction angiography (DSA) with 3D visualization to provide detailed bone and vascular structures for better evaluation of neurovascular lesions such as intercranial aneurysms as well as volume measurements. This capability was developed in conjunction with physicians at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.
Siemens Medical Solutions expanded its Axiom Artis digital angiography line with the introduction of three new flat-panel digital systems. The new units include the Axiom Artis dTA, Axiom Artis dMP, and Axiom Artis dFA. They are differentiated by price and application, ranging from high-end rotational angiography studies to gastrointestinal exams. All are based on the flat-panel detector technology found on other systems in the Axiom Artis line.
The Axiom Artis dTA is a fast (60-degree/second in rotation and orbital direction) ceiling-mounted C-arm system for rotational angiography and 3D imaging. It is targeted at dedicated interventional radiology departments and university hospitals. The dTA is similar to Axiom Artis systems for cardiac applications, which have smaller flat-panel detectors, Siemens said. The dTA's detector dimensions are 30 x 40 cm, compared to 20 x 20 cm for the cardiac dTC. Price will be in the range of $1.85 million, depending upon configuration. The system will begin shipping in May 2004.
Siemens will introduced the Artis dFA and the dMP systems. The dFA is an all-round interventional radiology and vascular surgery system with a rotational speed of 40-degree/second and a list price of about $1.55 million. Its target market is mid-sized hospitals.
The dMP is a multipurpose unit with a list price in the range of $1.35 million, and covers applications from gastrointestinal imaging to angiography. Its target market is community hospitals. Both the dMP and the dFA are expected to be available in August 2004.
Siemens also debuted the FDi enhancement for the entire AXIOM product line, allowing radiology departments to utilize time, space and costs more efficiently. FDi augments radiography systems with digital imaging.
Siemens showcased its AXIOM Aristos FX and AXIOM Multix M. The AXIOM Aristos FX is a fully automated digital radiography system that allows for thoracic and extremity scans, as well as emergency, trauma and pediatric applications. The flat panel X-ray and ceiling-mounted design of the Aristos FX means virtually all radiographic exams can be done in one room.
The AXIOM Multix M portable flat-panel detector performs general-purpose radiographic applications, both on and off the table, as well as in the standing position. The cost-effective Multix M features a flat-panel detector that is quickly and easily inserted into the Bucky table or wall stand tray. Upon insertion, the detector is automatically centered, allowing for both landscape and portrait format positioning.
At the x-ray section of GE Medical Systems' booth, the company debuted its Precision MPi multipurpose R &F and interventional digital x-ray system as well as two new capabilities for the Revolution XR/d digital x-ray platform. The system uses a CCD-based digital detector and can fit into a 12 x 12-foot room. The system, which received FDA clearance in late November, provides angulated imaging to separate overlying anatomic structures for easier viewing for the clinician. It replaces the now discontinued TiltC+. The Precision MPi is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2004, and will be priced in the $600,000