Siemens unveils wide-bore 3T in small footprint

November 6, 2007

Siemens Medical Solutions introduced Oct. 31 a wide-bore 3T scanner with a magnet small enough to fit the same footprint as a 1.5T system.

Siemens Medical Solutions introduced Oct. 31 a wide-bore 3T scanner with a magnet small enough to fit the same footprint as a 1.5T system.

At 170 cm, Siemens' Verio will be the shortest 3T scanner in the industry. But the German company expects the bore diameter of 70 cm to be of greatest interest to prospective buyers. This is the same size as Siemens' so-called open-bore 1.5T Espree.

Verio will come equipped with the company's Tim (total imaging matrix) technology, which offers up to 102 integrated matrix coil elements and 32 independent radiofrequency channels. These can be leveraged to provide standard-, functional-, and susceptibility-weighted neuro imaging; orthopedic and cartilage assessment; and breast, vascular, and cardiac exams.

"Verio will allow customers to address two aspects--the need for patient comfort and the trend in the U.S. toward 3T," said Britta Funfstuck, Siemens vice president of global marketing. "Combining those two aspects with Tim provides for fast workflow and excellent image quality."

The company is positioning the 3T Verio as a new class of premium MR on the basis of high throughput and clinical reach; patient comfort due to its short length and 70-cm bore; minimal operating costs; and siting advantages due to a short, ultralight magnet. Verio's wide bore allows for the diagnosis of obese patients, with its 550-pound table capacity.

Standard on Verio are Siemens' advanced syngo applications:

  • BLADE corrects for motion artifacts encountered in neuro, ortho, and abdominal procedures

  • TWIST enables 3D MR angiography for arterial and venous phases

  • SPACE generates 3D acquisitions for complex head, spine, abdomen, pelvic, and ortho exams

  • GRAPPA identifies small renal cysts with shorter breath-holds and increased throughput

Verio is the second MR system unveiled by Siemens in October. The company is positioning the first, the 1.5T Essenza, as the industry's most affordable 1.5T MRI. The new 1.5T lists for under $1 million.

Verio will go for about twice that much. Its actual price will depend on the configuration, but Funfstuck said that Siemens' new 3T could be "reasonably" equipped for less than $2 million.

One choice may be Siemens' arterial spin labeling package, which allows vascular imaging without the use of injectable contrast agents. Verio's high signal-to-noise ratio supports this function.

"It will be one of the new applications we'll be talking much more about at the RSNA meeting and one of the advantages of the 3T system," she said.