Toshiba: MDCT does not stop at 64; 256 is on the way
Toshiba America Medical Systems showcased its suite of workflow and storage enhancements for its Aquilion CT systems at RSNA 2006. In addition to its portfolio of MDCT scanners, Toshiba featured its work-in-progress Aquilion CT 256-slice scanner.

According to Toshiba, enhancements include a new V3 software release on the CT console that enables faster scanning and data analysis, resulting in improved efficiency and more accurate diagnoses. Toshiba also demonstrated the new Automated PhaseXact software (an additional component of the SURECardio package) that automatically locates the optimal phase of the heartbeat assuring the best image quality, decreasing image reconstruction time by at least 50 percent and reducing storage requirements. Advanced rendering and analysis in seconds is now possible with V3’s enhanced DICOM data transfers. This new option enables data transfer at up to 60 images-per-second. 

Toshiba featured its new SUREPlaque advanced software application available on the Vital Images Vitrea workstation that allows clinicians to easily visualize and characterize plaques that are likely to cause acute coronary events. Toshiba said these enhancements are especially important for the company’s Aquilion 64 model because of the larger volumes of data provided. 

Additionally, Toshiba announced new storage technologies optimized for multi-slice CT systems that will allow easy, economical storage of thin-slice data, delivering a true modality archive developed in partnership with McKesson Corp.

Toshiba also highlighted its Aquilion 64 that is built on Toshiba's unique 64-row Quantum detector, volumetric imaging capabilities and advanced software applications. The Aquilion is a volumetric 64 CT system with 64 detector channels, 3-D cone beam algorithms and volume reconstruction.  At the heart of the Aquilion 64 is its superior multi-detector design, which produces high-speed, high-resolution imaging with superior low-contrast resolution with lower dose.  The Quantum detector enables the Aquilion CT scanner to acquire 64 simultaneous slices of 0.5 mm with each 350-millisecond gantry revolution.  The result is precise isotropic imaging of any region of the body during a single breath-hold, Toshiba said.

Toshiba's 256-slice WIP CT is designed to acquire a large volume of data that can cover the brain or heart in a single rotation. The system's volume acquisition provides accurate images and lowers dose, resulting in more accurate, quicker diagnoses. Additionally, dynamic multiple phase studies such as perfusion of the brain, heart or other organs are possible.

Toshiba announced at RSNA that it will install the first U.S. site beta 256-slice CT scanner at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute in February 2007. Johns Hopkins will test the beta system for its value in early assessment of critical radiology and cardiac CT protocols. The beta system will be at Hopkins for a limited time to acquire data to further clinical research and product development, Toshiba said.