The rise of high-end imaging technologies like MRI and CT hasusurped the role of conventional radiography as the modality ofchoice for many medical imaging applications. But one of the areasin which conventional radiography will retain its value is
The rise of high-end imaging technologies like MRI and CT hasusurped the role of conventional radiography as the modality ofchoice for many medical imaging applications. But one of the areasin which conventional radiography will retain its value is inguiding interventional procedures, according to Arnold Arsenault,marketing manager of the x-ray products division of Shimadzu MedicalSystems.
At the 1992 RSNA meeting, Gardena, CA-based Shimadzu unveiledPangiomax ER-1000, a high-end angiography system designed to capitalizeon radiography's interventional utility.
"A lot of people are talking about x-ray disappearing,"Arsenault said. "It's definitely changing, there's no questionabout it. (Other modalities) will replace the diagnostic capabilityof x-ray. But what x-ray is going to turn into is the therapeuticarea. For example, (a diagnosis) will be done on MR, but insteadof bringing you into surgery, they'll bring you into x-ray anddo an interventional procedure to correct the problem."
ER-1000 was originally designed as a dedicated neurointerventionalunit and received Food and Drug Administration marketing clearancein 1991. Shortly after receiving FDA approval, however, Shimadzudecided to redesign ER-1000 to perform whole-body angiographyprocedures.
"(ER-1000) had limitations because in the U.S. there aren'tthat many dedicated neuro sites," Arsenault said. "Welooked at how we could change it to do more than neuro work."
The redesign was accomplished by extending the guiderails onthe ceiling-suspended unit far enough to enable the image tubesto cover the entire body. No new FDA application was requiredfor the modification.
ER-1000 features a computerized auto-positioning system, whichprovides users with up to 50 pre-set positions that can speedstudies, according to the company.
ER-1000 is capable of performing biplane fluoroscopy and cutfilm exposure. Digital subtraction angiography is possible bycombining the ER-1000 with either Shimadzu's Digitex 2400 or DAR1200 digital acquisition consoles. The Digitex 2400 is Shimadzu'stop-of-the-line console and can be used to set both digital andx-ray parameters of a study.
The price of the ER-1000 without digital ranges from $700,000to $800,000.
ER-1000 exemplifies the company's emphasis on the therapeuticapplications of x-rays, according to Arsenault.
"Shimadzu believes that interventional is the way x-rayis going in the future," he said. "We're investing init from that standpoint."