Siemens launches new dual-source CT with promises of lower radiation doses
Somatom Definition Flash is a new dual-source CT. Image Source: Siemens Healthcare  
Siemens Healthcare Monday introduced its Somatom Definition Flash, a dual-source CT scanner that requires a fraction of the radiation dose required to scan anatomical details faster.

The company said that its Somatom Definition Flash features two x-ray tubes that simultaneously revolve around the patient's body. The CT scanning speed is 43 centimeters per second (cm/s) with a temporal resolution of 75 ms, enabling scans of the chest region in 0.6 s. Thus, Siemens said that patients are no longer required to hold their breath during the exam.

Also, the scanner operates at a reduced radiation dose, according to the company. For example, a spiral heart scan can be performed with less than 1 mSv.

Siemens said that its speed offers advantages to examining moving structures, such as the thorax or the heart. The gantry rotates about its own axis in 0.28 s.

The Somatom Definition Flash will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2009.

The first test system installations will occur at the Institute of Radiology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, followed by U.S. sites, such as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, according to the Andre Hartung, vice president of CT marketing and sales at Siemens.

The Somatom Definition Flash scanner already has FDA 510(k) clearance, said Alexander Zimmerman, director of product marketing for CT at Siemens. He noted that the system will cost approximately $2 million.

Siemens will present the Somatom Definition Flash next week at the 94th scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).