The annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) gathered more than 61,000 professional under the banner “Connecting Radiology.” They saw the entire spectrum of medical imaging technology: CT, x-ray, MRI, PET, ultrasound, RIS, and PACS, and everything in between. Here are some of the highlights in case you missed them ? or want a second look.
CT was probably the most talked-about modality on the scene, with a host of vendors dedicated to addressing patient concerns over radiation exposure. Focused on reducing dose, the big boys all brought in new innovations in the area of CT.
The biggest unveiling was arguably the AquilionONE, the world’s first dynamic volume CT system. The advanced diagnostic imaging system from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Tustin, Calif, allows physicians to observe an organ’s dynamic blood flow and function in addition to a 3D image. It also can scan one organ in a single rotation, covering up to 16 cm of anatomy using 320 ultrahigh-resolution 0.5-mm detector elements. Enhancements to the Aquilion product line were also shown, such as PhaseXact, automatically locating the optimal phase of the heartbeat, SureSubtraction, streamlining bone subtraction, and SurePlaque, allowing for easy observation of vessels for coronary remodeling and quantification.
Introducing a scanner that is four times more powerful than a 64-slice CT, Philips, Andover, Mass, announced the commercial availability of its 256-slice Brilliance iCT scanner. The unit employs Philips technology that reduces radiation doses by up to 80% due in part to an x-ray-emitting gantry that can rotate four times in 1 second. Providing 8 cm of coverage, the Brilliance iCT can capture an entire 3D image of the heart in two beats.
GE Healthcare, Waukesha, Wis, under its “Radiology Re-imagined” vision, displayed a number of technologies particularly in the area of CT that center around its early health model of care. Through HDCT technologies, GE hopes to provide unprecedented diagnostic clarity using a significant reduction in dose. To accomplish this feat, GE re-examined the fundamentals behind spatial resolution, low-contrast discrimination and dose efficiency, and scientists are working on new CT detector material that is based on the garnet gemstone.
In an effort to expand CT’s role from imaging to managing patient outcomes, Siemens Medical Solutions, Malvern, Pa, debuted the SOMATOM Definition AS, reportedly the first adaptive scanner created for strokes, cardiac conditions, and cancer. Available in 40-, 64-, and 128-slice configurations, the unit is capable of functional imaging specific to an organ. It also features Adaptive Dose Shield technology, which blocks extra doses before and after the scan. Meanwhile, the company also showcased its SOMATOM Definition Dual-Source CT scanner, designed with a 78-cm gantry bore that accommodates obese patients.
Siemens announced the creation of the MAGNETOM Essenza, a unit with a system length of 145 cm, and the MAGNETOM Verio, which combines image quality at 3T field strength with a 70-cm open bore. Both products employ Siemens’ Tim (total imaging matrix) technology, which gets rid of the need for patient repositioning and manual coil changes during scans.
Confirma, Kirkland, Wash, unveiled new advances in its CADstream solution, which is being expanded beyond breast MRI to include prostate applications. Furthermore, the CADstream for breast solution has been enhanced to include a customizable BI-RADS user interface, therapeutic monitoring capabilities, improved 3D renderings, and tools for morphology reporting. Confirma also previewed its Access Breast Coil, a four-channel, phased-array coil architecture that provides high-quality parallel imaging of the breast, chest wall, and axillary tissue. One of the more unique innovations in MRI was FONAR’s upright solution. The FONAR Dynamic UPRIGHT MRI produces three-plane visualizations, achieved through 3D acquisition with curved multiplanar reconstruction. The technology allows for imaging of the curvature of the vertebrae as well as soft tissue.
Hitachi Medical Systems America, Twinsburg, Ohio, displayed its OASIS MRI scanner, featuring a patient-centered open architecture and proprietary 1.2T vertical field magnet technology, and GE presented its new Signa Vibrant dedicated 1.5T breast MR scanner.
Toshiba’s work-in-progress 1.5T Vantage Titan MR system addresses the concerns of claustrophobic, as well as larger, patients, and its 3T MR system boasts a new magnet design that combines a short bore with high homogeneity.
Philips’ high-field Panorama HFO also was designed for patient comfort. By ramping the magnet, the company’s Achieva XR can be upgraded from 1.5T to the Achieva 3.0T X-series for applications in neurological, musculoskeletal, and abdominal imaging; functional and cardiac studies; contrast-enhanced angiography; and spectroscopic imaging.
Ultrasound offerings at RSNA seemed to be getting smaller, more portable, and more flexible, therefore increasing the number of clinical applications in which they can be used.
The ACUSON S2000, allowing for Acoustic Radiation Forced Impulse imaging and Silicon Ultrasound integration, is the first of Siemens’ new S Class of ultrasound products for use in general imaging, including OB/GYN, as well as vascular and cardiac imaging.
AIT’s ARIA Breast Imaging System is a whole-breast imaging solution for dense breasts that has capabilities for image-guided core needle breast biopsy.
Featuring an articulating arm with a 17-inch, high-resolution flat-panel display, Medison’s ACCUVIX V10 has 2D, 3D and 4D imaging technologies and on-board image archival capabilities.
Biodex’s Ultra Pro Ultrasound Table, a dedicated table for all general ultrasound procedures, is available with optional features, like retractable stirrups for applications in OB/GYN.
Hitachi’s HI VISION 5500 fully digital ultrasound system possesses an electronic architecture with brand-new signal-processing technology, a sophisticated transducer design, and can be utilized across the spectrum of clinical situations.
Ultrasonix showcased its Sonix CEP, offering emergency medicine practitioners a high-performance imaging in a compact, portable system.
Toshiba and Philips both exhibited upgrades to their current solutions—Toshiba’s Xario XG scanner and Philips’ iU22 and HD11 XE “all-in-one” ultrasound.
From enterprisewide medical institutions to small physician practices, radiologists everywhere look for x-ray systems that are user-friendly and cost-effective while streamlining workflow and optimizing comfort for their patients. At RSNA, there was no shortage of products in the digital and computed radiography arena.
Toshiba displayed its biplane x-ray system, called the Infinix VF-i/BP, which allows for 180° head-end patient access. Sporting a multiaxis floor-mounted C-arm and suspended omega-arm, the Infinix offers high-resolution imaging through two flat-panel detectors.
|Reducing radiation dose and advancing nuclear medicine were two hot topics at RSNA.|
Siemens’ MAMMOMAT Novation S is a new digital mammography system that utilizes the latest full-field amorphous Selenium detectors. According to the company, the solution is targeted for facilities that are making the transition to digital breast imaging but do not have the need for advanced diagnostic functionality.
Delivering quality spatial resolution at low radiation dose, Swissray’s ddRCompact utilizes a digital High Definition Silicon Solid State detector with Micro Lens technology. Product components include automated positioning and image-acquisition requirements.
iCad showed a work-in-progress version of its mammography CAD solution, enhanced with additional information concerning return on investment and statistical reports of CAD usage and errors. The company’s Tomosynthesis CAD is being designed to analyze large volumes of 3D data and focus in on key areas of suspicion, and its CAD for use with virtual colonoscopy aims to improve the detection of colonic polyps.
Carestream Health, Rochester, NY, debuted a pair of compact, single-cassette CR systems for general radiology, long-length, dental and mammography exams. Designed for hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers, multispecialty clinics, and private practices, the KODAK DIRECTVIEW Classic and Elite CR systems are equipped with automatic image rendering, so that technologists do not need to identify each exam project.
Much of the buzz on the floor centered on the advancement of nuclear medicine as the next big step in medical imaging, and a number of products on display were geared toward the monitoring of biological processes.
GE Healthcare representatives talked about the company’s Discovery Dimension, which works toward achieving motion-free PET/CT imaging by enabling clinicians to address imaging mismatches related to respiratory and cardiac motion. The company also displayed its VUE Point technology, which aids in the detection of small lesions through advanced proprietary image-reconstruction algorithms.
Naviscan PET Systems presented its PEM Flex Solo II, which employs optimized PET technology to capture images of small body parts, such as hands or breasts.
By using gentle compression, along with advanced photonics, the images that are produced exhibit 1.5- to 2-mm intrinsic resolution. Siemens’ HD PET, the world’s only high-definition PET technology, aims to offer consistently sharper and clearly defined images across the entire field of view through an improved 2-mm resolution.
Hitachi’s hybrid PET/CT system, the SceptreP3, integrates the “Power of Three” suite of differentiating capabilities. According to the company, it is the only solution that effectively images patients with metal implants using both CT and sealed source attenuation correction.
The Philips GEMINI TF localizes the PET annihilation event and is designed to heighten diagnostic confidence, improve lesion detectability, and lower radiation exposure. Equipped with TruFlight time-of-flight technology, the GEMINI TF features 16-slice and 64-channel Brilliance CT configurations. Philips also addresses bone and cardiac image quality with the BrightView SPECT system.
Each year, more and more RIS/PACS businesses take to the RSNA floor, according to veteran vendors, and this past November, informatics companies were plentiful.
Speech documentation service provider Multimodal Technologies Inc, Pittsburgh, announced an agreement with digital solutions company Viztek, Jacksonville, Fla, to integrate M*Modal’s AnyModal CDS with Viztek’s Opal-RAD PACS. M*Modal’s speech technology incorporates context-based understanding versus instead of standard single-world recognition, thus enabling the system to identify phrases instead of simple audio that often comes with background noise.
Candelis, Irvine, Calif, developed a fully integrated multimodality PACS, one that is compatible with most DICOM-viewing workstations. Its ImageGrid manages and archives studies from data-intensive modalities and offers a versatile, tailored solution for a variety of different facilities.
Thinking Systems, St Petersburg, Fla, released a new version of its Thinking PACS with enhanced support for PET-CT fusion, now featuring ModalityBroker and ThinkingAddOn functions. With the data-verification additions, the company’s software can further integrate all imaging modalities into one enterprise radiology PACS and provide a centralized archive.
Intelerad Medical Systems, Montreal, described its InteleViewer dedicated PET/CT fusion workstation capabilities, with Advanced Region of Interest functionality as well as sagittal, coronal, transverse, and oblique views.
InSite One, Wallingford, Conn, demonstrated its InDex solution, which delivers many of the storage and archiving features of a full-blown PACS. It has capabilities for on-site and off-site infinite storage, high-speed accessibility, built-in understanding of DICOM data format, and disaster recovery.
Elaine Sanchez is associate editor for Medical Imaging. For more information, contact .