FDA Approves SOMATOM Force CT System by Siemens

The latest dual source CT includes features that provide low dose imaging for patients with renal insufficiency, difficulty holding their breath and more.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the SOMATOM Force CT system, a dual source CT by Siemens Healthcare.

The SOMATOM Force is designed to provide low dose CT to some of the more challenging patients, like young children, patients with renal insufficiency and patients unable to hold their breath. The system includes two sets of X-ray tubes and detectors, and the power reserves of Siemens’ Vectron tube, which allows for faster routine adult imaging with low dose protocols.

Research is ongoing exploring usage of different energy levels to elicit an enhanced contrast-to-noise ratio and lower patient radiation dose. Lower kV levels can also potentially increase enhancement of contrast medium, necessitating less contrast. Earlier generations of CT scanners were unable to sufficiently power imaging at very low kV levels unless the patients were children or small adults, Siemens wrote in a release. Siemens claims that early investigational research with the SOMATOM Force has revealed low, previously unachievable kV imaging results.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"24089","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_3689021582513","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"2034","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"float: right; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

“The massively enhanced tube power of the SOMATOM Force enables imaging that can be acquired at very low kV settings – and thus at a lower level of radiation dose – routinely in adult patients and even those of a larger body type. In the past, these low kV settings would have resulted in noisy, nondiagnostic studies,” Joseph Schoepf, MD, director of CT research and development and professor of radiology and cardiology at Medical University of South Carolina, said in the release.

Because iodine contrast medium is necessary for conventional CT imaging, it had previously been avoided in patients with renal insufficiency as iodine contrast medium can place a burden on the kidneys, especially for older patients or patients with kidney disease. Siemens states that the low kV imaging of the SOMATOM Force broadens CT applications to these types of patients.

Patients with shortness of breath evaluated for pulmonary embolism can be imaged with no breath hold with the SOMATOM Force, according to Siemens, because of the SOMATOM Force’s Turbo Flash Mode. The SOMATOM Force enables the user to perform an entire adult chest, abdomen and pelvis study in one second. Siemens also states that the SOMATOM Force has a powerful use in cardiac imaging, with its ability to obtain an entire study within a quarter of a heart beat at a native temporal resolution of 66 ms, the speed required to freeze even the fastest-moving anatomy like the right coronary artery.

Patients diagnosed with lung or colon cancer, who are likely to undergo additional follow-up imaging studies can receive continually low dose exams with the SOMATOM Force, enabling more decisive treatment and post-therapy evaluations, Siemens claims. The low-dose imaging is possible because of two spectral filters knows as Selective Photon Shields that optimize the X-ray spectrum to significantly improve air/soft-tissue contrast.

The SOMATOM Force represents a dramatic leap forward in CT technology, helping healthcare organizations improve diagnostic confidence with access to an imaging tool that maximizes the patient experience for many more people in their communities,” Murat Gungor, vice president, CT and radiation oncology business management, Siemens Healthcare, said in the release.