Shimadzu specialises in the production of advanced medical imaging systems and equipment, clinical diagnostic systems, including CT, digital subtraction angiography, cardiovascular systems, digital radiography & fluoroscopy systems, ultrasound and general radiography equipment. Now it has announced ‘breakthrough applications’ in cardiology systems, general radiology rooms and R/F rooms, that have used Safire, its advanced direct-conversion 43 x 43 cm (17 inch) flat panel detector (FDP). ‘This produces distinct advantages in image quality and dose efficiency when compared with indirect-conversion flat-panel,’ the firm reports. ‘The direct-conversion technology creates clearer high-resolution images with less signal deterioration and reduced noise.’
For the clinical areas mentioned above, the company has produced new technologies such as Tomosynthesis, Dual-Energy Subtraction, Slot Radiography and Cone Beam CT.
Digital Tomosynthesis - Individual tomographic layers are stacked on top of each other and digitally compiled to create a volume reconstruction of the region of interest. Up to 90 exposures can be acquired in a single tomographic sweep, greatly reducing examination time. With Safire, large regions can be examined with significantly reduced X-ray dose, the firm points out. By incorporating this technology in a multifunctional R/F system, Shimadzu also enables tomosynthesis with patients in an upright position – particularly helpful for examinations of scoliosis or load-bearing joints (hips, knees).
Dual-Energy Subtraction – This recognises pulmonary nodules better, and is often incorporated into new digital radiography systems. The technique exploits different physical properties of soft-tissue and bony structures affecting the attenuation of X-ray photons at different X-ray energies. During a single examination a ‘low-energy image’ and ‘high-energy image’ of the patient are captured. The construction of a pair of ‘energy subtraction’ images is obtained as a working result, says Schimadzu. ‘One major advantage of DES is the clear depiction of calcification, thereby strongly supporting characterisation of pulmonary nodules.’
Cone Beam computed tomography CBCT - enables precise tumour treatment.
Cone beam (CBCT) imaging visualises vascular tree structures in 3-D. Used in cancer therapy, it allows the precise localisation of tumour zones as well as their treatment with optimum dosage. CBCT evaluation shows a 200% improvement in resolution when compared with current 128 slice CT scanners, while reducing total patient dosage by 90%, Shimadzu explains.
Slot Radiography – This technique is primarily used to examine scoliosis and lower limbs. Slot radiography enables the acquisition and reconstruction of so called ‘long images’, displaying a complete spine or lower limbs. Shimadzu reports that it introduces this technique with its multifunctional remote controlled R/F system. During an examination, a sequence of 5cm-wide slots is acquired, to avoid image distortion as a result of the diverging X-ray beam and to reduce scatter and dosage to a patient. After acquisition the individual slots are digitally reconstructed into a long image.
Shimadzu’s products are on show at the ECR Expo C, booth 328 – or go to www.shimadzu.de