The best of both worlds

Mobility meets performance in a new hybrid

Innovative mobile C-arm solutions by Nuremberg-based Ziehm Imaging are quickly conquering interventional radiology. At this year‘s European Congress of Radiology in Vienna, Martin Herzmann, Director of Global Marketing at Ziehm Imaging, met with EH correspondent Karoline Laarmann to discuss developments.

Photo: The best of both worlds
Photo: The best of both worlds

‘Due to the excellent image quality provided by our flat panel technology,’ he explained, ‘the C-arm solutions have become an attractive option beyond the surgical department’.

Deeply rooted in surgery, the mobile C-arm manufacturer Ziehm Imaging is entering interventional radiology. Indeed, one of the highlights at this year’s ECR was the firm’s new hybrid C-arm solution Vision RFD. ‘Hybrid in this context describes the fusion of surgery and imaging as well as the interdisciplinary cooperation of physicians in the operating theatre,’ Martin Herzmann, Director of Global Marketing at Ziehm Imaging explained. Its presentation at the ECR, he added, is due to the fact that the C-arm is an X-ray based imaging solution for the operating theatre, and the radiologist has a say in purchasing. ‘Our flat panel technology offers superior image quality, which enables radiologists to perform minimally invasive procedures themselves. This high-end product by far surpasses the possibilities of conventional standard orthopaedic surgery. It is in the Champions’ League of surgery: cardiac and vascular interventions.’

Whilst high-quality imaging in the operating theatre was previously the exclusive domain of fixed installations, the new generation of mobile C-arms offers comparable image quality and distortion-free resolution in more than 16,000 grey scales. In addition, the hybrid solution is easier to handle. A synchronised interface links the C-arm with the contrast agent injector so that the surgeon can trigger imaging and contrast agent injection with a pedal.
The product combines the mobility and low investment costs of a C-arm with the high performance of a fixed installation, Martin Herzmann points out. ‘Here, performance refers above all to generator performance. Whilst in older generation C-arms the cooling system frequently failed, the new liquid cooling system, hidden in the C-arm, ensures uninterrupted operation of the system and avoids overheating.’

Housing the generator in a separate room is no longer necessary -- a positive effect in terms of radiation dose, he adds. ‘To achieve high-quality imaging you have to continuously provide high performance, which is the generator’s task. However, this increases a patient‘s radiation exposure. If a split-block generator transfers high voltage to the C-arm, voltage builds up and diminishes slowly. Our mono block generator, on the other hand, offers much more precise and shorter image pulses. Moreover, our product uses the so-called Object Detected Dose Control, which means the square image detector recognises the anatomical image in the field of view and positions itself accordingly.’

The new hybrid edition, he says, completes the Ziehm Imaging product portfolio for the time being.
On top of the new high-end solution for the operating theatre, Ziehm Imaging also offers a purpose-designed C-arm for disaster relief and military use. Ziehm Solo Portable is an extremely small unit that can be dismantled for transportation. This highly mobile product does not require a separate monitor cart and is delivered as a modular ‘out of the box’ system. Until recently, this model was produced exclusively for the German Armed Forces, but is now is also available to civilian disaster relief organisations.

Convincing innovation combined with German engineering is in demand worldwide. The Ziehm Imaging product portfolio is available through a network of 75 distributors in 70 countries. Today, the company generates one third of its turnover in Germany, one third in the US and a third in the rest of the world, Brazil, Russia, the Near East and Scandinavia being important markets. Ziehm Imaging is well positioned to continue Germany’s success story, Martin Herzmann says, confidently predicting a bright future.


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