Toshiba unveils efforts to further cardiac CT applications, launches new MR, x-ray, ultrasound tools
Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. (TAMS) at the ACC 2006 annual meeting in Atlanta this week unveiled a number of new systems focused on improved cardiac imaging.
The company is taking action to promote CT’s application in cardiology, discussed several developments including the sponsorship of a multi-center research study to compare 64-slice CT with cath labs. Toshiba said that it believes CT will come out well in comparison due to its speed and fewer complications, and its use in helping cardiologists decide treatment paths. Looking to the future, Toshiba is working with 256-slice CT which is in clinical development at this time but should be available within 24 to 36 months. The company also is developing education courses to assist cardiologists meet ACC guidelines.
In related news, Toshiba announced results of the KLAS 64-slice CT perception report, which ranked Toshiba’s Aquilion 64-slice CT system at the top in overall vendor ratings compared to other diagnostic imaging manufacturers, the company said. 

The KLAS 64-slice CT perception report surveyed more than 300 healthcare professionals, including imaging directors and managers, C-level executives and physicians on survey categories. In addition, Toshiba scored highest in four other categories, including: cost and value, technology and architecture, post processing capabilities, and integration into existing PACS solutions.  
Toshiba also debuted its new Infinix DP-i/FD2 vascular X-ray system at the meeting. The Infinix DP-i/FD2 is equipped with two flat-panel detectors (FPD) and is the only single lab that meets ACC guidelines for both cardiac and peripheral work, according to the company.

Designed with one eight-inch by eight-inch floor mounted cardiac C-arm and one 12-inch by 16-inch ceiling mounted C-arm, the system enables physicians to perform both detailed peripheral vascular work and coronary studies. The Infinix also offers a dual-PC processing system architecture, which permits background image processing and archiving without interrupting the exam.
At ACC, Toshiba also announced the FDA clearance of its Excelart Vantage ZGV magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, a sophisticated 1.5T. The new Vantage offers a gradient strength of 33 mT/m (milliTesla per meter), a slew rate of 200 mT/m/ms (milliTesla per meter per millisecond) and delivers the highest homogeneity of any magnet in the industry over the full 50 cm diameter spherical volume (DSV). Field upgrade kits to the new ZGV are available to current Vantage users. 

In addition to the ZGV model, the Vantage is available in three other versions offering an ultra-short magnet at 140 cm with linear 30 mT/m gradient strength and a slew rate of 50 mT/m/ms on the AGV, the 86 mT/m/ms on the MGV and 130 mT/m/ms on the XGV. The Vantage includes optional packages for cardiac imaging, advanced echo planar imaging (EPI), perfusion and diffusion imaging, peripheral MRA (magnetic resonance angiography), and SuperFASE (Fast Advanced Spin Echo) imaging.  
The company also showcased its cardio offering for its Aplio CV, the company’s all-digital ultrasound system for advanced cardiovascular applications that is available on all new Aplio CV systems and is a simple field upgrade for existing Aplio CV users. The new comprehensive cardio package features Dyssynchrony Imaging (DI) and Tissue Doppler Imaging Quantification (TDIQ). DI is a rapid visual assessment to evaluate the electrical timing events within the heart.
The company also showed new transducers and its Xario ultrasound system which has been configured for cardiology for the first time.