Siemens makes Definition main attraction
Siemens Medical Solutions at RSNA 2006 featured its Somatom Definition dual-source CT scanner, announced that it has received FDA 510(k) approval for the first of many syngo Dual Energy applications and introduced Somatom Sensation Web Selection that provides web-enabled CT.

The Somaton Definition is a dual-source CT scanner that enables CT acquisition with two x-ray sources and two detectors, rather than the single x-ray source and detector configuration commonly available in standard systems. Siemens said the system features a true temporal resolution of 83 milliseconds, allowing the system to image challenging cardiac patients without beta blockers and independent of heart rate. This enables the reliable acquisition of clear cardiac images while avoiding the issues inherent in multi-segment reconstruction, Siemens said.

The system delivers images without motion artifacts, displaying anatomical details with diagnostic clarity. The Somatom Definition provides clinical research professionals, physicians, hospitals and outpatient clinics with advanced radiographic applications including acute care, cardiology, neurology and oncology.

According to Siemens, the Definition is installed at more than 100 clinical facilities – including leading research facilities, diagnostic imaging centers and community hospitals – and should exceed 150 sites by year’s end.

The FDA clearance allows for use of Somaton Definition’s two X-ray sources at two different energy levels in simultaneous spiral scanning. As a result, Siemens said this will enable clinicians to explore various scenarios for tissue characterization and paves the way for dual energy to become part of the standard daily clinical routine.

Earlier approaches in dual energy CT created two subsequent but separate scans at different tube voltages, but failed to seamlessly align the imaged anatomy. The Somatom Definition overcomes this limitation by permitting the use of two sources at two different kilovolt levels simultaneously. The result are two spiral data sets acquired in a single scan providing diverse information, which enables clinicians to differentiate, characterize, isolate, and distinguish the imaged tissue and material.

Siemens said the Definition now provides even more unique clinical advantages, including direct subtraction of bone in complicated anatomical regions; virtual un-enhanced liver images without multiple scans; evaluation of lung perfusion defects; visualization of cartilage, tendon and ligaments; and, differentiation between hard plaques and contrast agents.

To address the demands of today’s 64-slice CT workflow, Siemens introduced at this year’s RSNA the Somatom Sensation Web that provides instant accessibility of 3D volume data anytime, anywhere. According to Siemens, the application turns any (Internet-connected, diagnostic-quality) PC into a thin-client clinical workstation. For the physician it means more information and a faster diagnosis for better patient care.

Somatom Sensation Web Selection brings together a combination of high-end CT imaging and post-processing capabilities, Siemens said. For example, Cardiac CT benefits from 0.33-second temporal resolution and Siemens syngo Circulation software. In addition, the system offers z-Ultra High Resolution, enabling the highest available spatial resolution of 0.24 millimeters for imaging of fine anatomical detail.