Revved-up CT Speeds New Growth
More than one-quarter of CT systems installed in the United States have multi-slice technology, according to a report last month from IMV Medical Information Division. With the majority of planned CT purchases opting for multislice technology, the number of CT procedures is expected to grow beyond the estimated 45.4 million performed in this country in 2002 - a 15 percent hike over 2001.

GE Medical Systems (booth #4500) is coming to RSNA 2003 with its new LightSpeed Pro16 CT scanner, which offers 0.4-second gantry rotation speed for enhanced image detail on cardiovascular, neuro, pediatric and lung studies. An improved tube-cooling rate facilitates longer thin-slice studies and GEMS' patented design reduces off-focal radiation to reduce patient dose.

GEMS also is displaying its new Xtream technology for workflow advances in CT exams. A new CT operator console platform with software advancements is capable of reconstructing and transferring clinical image data at what GEMS describes as "record speed" highlight the features.

Siemens Medical Solutions (booth #1740) is showing the first outcomes of its new Speed4D, designed to enhance imaging speed and advances in CT tube-technology and workflow management. Speed4D technology includes the new Straton x-ray tube, WorkStream4D for workflow optimization and data handling, syngo InSpace4D for evaluation of the moving heart, and CARE Dose4D for automated real-time dose adaptation. The WorkStream4D workflow design allows users to plan image planes that are needed for diagnosis, while software handles the rest, with an image-reconstruction speed up to 10 images per
second in real-time mode and up to five images per second with full cone reconstruction. 

Toshiba America Medical Systems (booths #1551 & #7749) displays its Aquilion line of CT scanners with multi-slice technology.
The new 16-slice Aquilion 16 CFX targets cardiac imaging, pediatrics, CT fluoroscopy and high-resolution lung scanning. The CFX system features 400-millisecond scanning for anatomical images of the heart, as well as TAMS' new SureCardio cardiac function analysis software for enhanced screening and reconstruction functions. The CFX tops TAMS' CT line with a price range of $2
million to $2.4 million, depending on configuration.

Other new additions to the line are the Aquilion 8, Aquilion Super 4 and Super 4 FX. The Aquilion 8 offers true isotropic imaging in large and small field-of-view and 32mm total detector coverage per rotation. The Aquilion 8 has a price range of $1.4 million to $1.6 million, depending on configuration and can be upgraded to 16-slice technology.

The Super 4 and Super 4 FX systems are designed for cardiac scoring, trauma, lung scanning, pediatrics, fluoroscopy and angiography. Features include the MegaCool 7.5 Mhu tube, true isotropic imaging in large and small field-of-view, and 34-row quantum detector. Both systems are in the $1.3 million to $1.5 million price range, based on configurations.

In addition, new AutoBone software for GEMS' Advantage workstation provides automated bone and CT table removal from CT angiography studies of the abdomen and lower extremities. Once removed, bony structures can be dialed back in to create a transparent roadmap for the vascular surgeon.

Philips Medical Systems (booth #1352) is featuring its line of two-, six-, 10- and 16-slice CT scanners with live demonstrations of the enhancements. The highlights include detector design, signal conversion, data transfer, reconstruction and tube technology.