Siemens debuts new generation of interventional imaging systems

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CHICAGO, Nov. 26—Siemens Medical Solutions today is introducing at the 93rd annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) its next generation of interventional imaging systems with versatility, enhanced image quality and streamlined workflow—the new Artis zee family of interventional imaging systems. After more than three years of development, 510(k) clearance from the FDA is pending, says Claus Grill, vice president, Angiography, Cardiac, and X-ray Systems, Siemens Medical Solutions.

The new Artis zeego features a multi-axis C-arm that employs robotic technology to extend imaging capabilities through virtually unrestricted C-arm positioning. This results in advanced cross-sectional imaging via its positioning flexibility, which is not achievable with traditional C-arm systems. The Artis zeego makes it possible for the position of the isocenter to be adjusted according to the procedural needs or the height of the physician which will have a “major impact on ergonomics for doctors who spend hours a day using the equipment,” says Grill.

The adjustable isocenter also enables off-center rotational angiography for all areas of the body and supports advanced 3D imaging techniques, including cross-sectional imaging through Siemens first-to-market syngo DynaCT.

The Artis zeego’s design enables advanced imaging capabilities, such as large-volume syngo DynaCT scans, which enable the physician to see the whole abdomen or the entire liver for chemoembolization and biopsies. The system also addresses neuro-interventional challenges by offering views of the skull and the neck and expanded views of the spine.

The entire Artis zee family of systems features an enhanced imaging chain—spanning image acquisition to image processing and documentation—that delivers sharply detailed images required for interventional procedures, enhances clarity in 2D imaging, and enables an array of 3D imaging applications to help enhance clinical decision-making.

“The introduction of the Artis zee family brings enhanced versatility to drive workflow improvements that can help meet the increasing volume in interventional procedures, no matter what the clinical setting,” says Grill.

New and enhanced 3D imaging applications included with the Artis zee systems include:
  • syngo iPilot, which enables faster, more precise catheter navigation through 3D roadmapping that superimposes 3D reconstructions onto live 2D fluoroscopy images, 2D roadmaps or digital subtraction angiography. The application provides automatic real-time updates of C-arm and table movements, as well as zoom and source-to-image distance changes to ensure proper correlation.
  • syngo iGuide, a needle-guided assistance tool which is the result of the growing demand in interventional radiology for nonvascular procedures. Biopsies, ablations and other needle-guided procedures became a challenge because of the soft tissue. Rather than requiring a CT scanner, “we can now give our interventional doctors a tool right on the angiography table and free up the scanner for other work,” says Grill.
The devices used in interventional radiology, including wires and stents, become finer and finer and, therefore, much harder to visualize, says Grill. “That’s why we have invested heavily in making the image better. Intelligent noise reduction makes the structures more visible.” A specific algorithm makes stents easier to visualize with the Artis zeego.

The Artis zee systems are designed to streamline workflows and create efficiencies to help keep pace with increased interventional volume. Intuitive, menu-driven workflows streamline such procedures as obtaining soft tissue results for both frequent and infrequent users. The Artis zee systems also enable all system movements to be easily controlled with one ergonomic tableside device.

Leveraging advanced robotic technologies used in other manufacturing arenas, such as the automobile industry, the Artis zeego supports greater flexibility and precision. For example, the rotation center of the positioner can be placed anywhere in a sphere around the patient. The Artis zeego enables physicians to perform complex scanning movements such as tilted table scans in the peripherals, which has not been possible with traditional C-arm design.

The Artis zee systems are available in floor-mounted, ceiling-mounted, multipurpose, biplane, and biplane twin configurations, as well as the multi-axis Artis zeego.

The systems were developed, Grill says, because customers continue to seek additional flexibility. “We realized that with the conventional C-arm concept, you always run into limitations. You have the x axis and y axis and can rotate a little, but you don’t have the six axes that the arm and wrist have.” That led to the industry robot and its high reliability, precision and robustness.

Grill says the new systems will “create a lot of excitement and revolutionize how interventional imaging is done. Once you see it, you’re excited.”

On the diagnostic imaging side, the Luminos dRF offers an overhead tube system and a built-in dynamic flat-panel detector instead of an image intensifier. This allows for the system to do both gastrointestinal (GI) fluoroscopy work and radiography work. The system holds up to 500 pounds. Plus, without the image intensifier under the table, the table now can go all the way down to 19 inches, makes it easier for more frail patients to get on and off.

The Luminos dRF is the “ideal solution for hospitals struggling with investments in fluoroscopy,” says Grill. If a facility only does gastrointestinal work in the morning, the system sits idle in the afternoon. “With this, they can do GI work in the morning and DR work in the afternoon. The utilization will be much higher.”