Toshiba?s Aquilion ONE CT scanner comes with an array of dose management tools.

Toshiba’s Aquilion™ ONE is the world’s first dynamic volume CT system, with the ability to cover whole organs in just one rotation. A combination of unique features creates a high-resolution low-dose imaging option worth exploring.

At the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) annual meeting, held in Chicago in early May of this year, Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc showcased its Aquilion ONE 320-detector row technology, along with its many dose reduction features. “It’s unique in the industry in that it has the largest detector at 320 detector rows at 0.5 mm detector elements, which provides an industry-leading 16 cm of coverage in one rotation,” said Joseph Cooper, director of Toshiba’s CT Business Unit. “In the past with smaller detectors, you could cover organs, but you would have to move the table and it takes a much longer period of time. Now, with the ability to cover a whole organ in just one rotation, you have a new dimension, which is iso-temporal resolution [allowing] you to capture the anatomy and physiology of the organ at one moment in time. This is the only system available today that can do that.”

The additional benefit of doing a volume rotation with the 320 ultra-high resolution 0.5 mm detector elements is dose reduction. “We have the unique advantage of being able to cover the organ in a rotation rather than having a helical acquisition, and doing so represents a dose reduction,” said Cooper. “For cardiac scans, with the Aquilion ONE, we are able to capture the heart in less than a heartbeat. Other systems require multiple heartbeats resulting in higher radiation dose.

“We have had tremendous success in the pediatric space because of the 16 cm of coverage with one rotation, allowing kids to be scanned in just one rotation, possibly reducing or eliminating the need for sedation, rather than multiple rotations as smaller detectors have to do. So it’s significant time savings as well as significant dose savings,” added Cooper.

Toshiba also showcased their Quantum De-noising Software (QDS) and Boost3D technologies at ARRS, which are designed to improve image noise characteristics without increasing dose to the patient. “QDS works by reducing the noise per image while maintaining low contrast resolution and spatial resolution. And Boost3D works in areas of very high attenuation, like the shoulders or through the pelvis. These areas tend to get pretty noisy ? so with Boost3D that will go through these areas of high attenuation and it will lower the noise through them,” Cooper said. These algorithms can be used to improve image quality with decreased radiation dose and are standard on all systems.

Notably, back in November 2010, Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc received FDA clearance on their Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction (AIDR) software that iterates noise out of the image to increase image quality and lower radiation dose. Since then, the entire install bases of Aquilion ONE and Aquilion Premium systems have been, or are scheduled to be, upgraded with the new AIDR tool.

The Aquilion ONE and Premium also come with a host of dose management tools. One such example is Toshiba’s NEMA XR 25 Dose Check Software, which includes the Dose Alert and Dose Notification features designed to address the two main components of the CT Dose Check Initiative introduced by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA). The Dose Alert feature alerts the user if the selected scan settings yield a predicted dose that exceeds an upper threshold dose value. The Dose Notification feature allows the user to set a nominal dose notification value for each part of a protocol being run, alerting a user if the predicted dose value exceeds the nominal dose notification value.

“Toshiba is committed to manufacturing diagnostic imaging devices that make clinical exams as fast, accurate, and safe as possible for all patients,” said Cooper, in a recent release. “The NEMA XR 25 Dose Check Software exemplifies Toshiba’s dedication to innovate technologies that provide safer exams to patients.”