Vendors raise bar for C-arms, interventional suites

February 20, 2006

Siemens Medical Solutions and Toshiba America Medical Systems displayed new C-arm products at the RSNA meeting. Siemens showcased the latest entry in its Arcadis product line, and Toshiba unveiled the latest iteration of its digital angiography platform.

Siemens Medical Solutions and Toshiba America Medical Systems displayed new C-arm products at the RSNA meeting. Siemens showcased the latest entry in its Arcadis product line, and Toshiba unveiled the latest iteration of its digital angiography platform.

The Arcadis Avantic, a C-arm designed for advanced imaging requirements in trauma, spine surgery, general surgery, urology, orthopedic surgery, and gastroenterology, is also usable for angiography.

The new FDA-cleared mobile system is equipped with an image intensifier operational in six modes: digital radiography, fluoroscopy, pulsed fluoroscopy, subtraction, and roadmapping.

Its digital imaging chain generates and manages all image data at a resolution of 1024 x 1024 pixels from acquisition to documentation. Two 18-inch flat monitors display images and results in digital cine mode. Film sequences are acquired and stored at speeds of up to 30 frames per second.

"This is something entirely new and just introduced at this show," said Roby Trierweiler, senior director of surgery and urology for Siemens. "With its advanced features, it was designed for the upper-end vascular user, even though it is still based on the common Arcadis platform."

These new features distinguish it from other mobile C-arm products, according to Trierweiler. They include 20 kW of power, up to 250 mA output, and a 13-inch image intensifier, which results in a large field-of-view.

"I believe that is the largest image intensifier in any C-arm," he said.

The design also weighs less and has a smaller footprint than other units, making it especially useful in the operating room. It includes a compact, swiveling operating panel with ergonomic handles.

"The lightweight design, high power, and large field-of-view give it greater clinical flexibility and a wide range of applications," Trierweiler said.

Avantic offers an intuitive selection of application-specific programs with virtual patient anatomy for optimal image quality and virtually unlimited possibilities for documentation and archiving. The product is based on syngo, Siemens' intuitively operated software platform for different modalities, which can simplify clinical workflows.

Toshiba's Infinix VC-i system, which received FDA clearance in October, is equipped with a large field-of-view flat-panel detector and is designed for vascular exams and interventional procedures.

"Throughout this whole line, we are focused on interventional procedures, as we're convinced that with CT and MRI picking up a lot on the diagnostic end, we're most likely going to get overloaded with interventions," said Donald Volz, Ph.D., director of Toshiba's vascular/x-ray business unit. "So we focus on providing the best fluoro image quality possible."

According to Volz, the 12 x 16-inch flat-panel detector provides superior imaging capabilities for patients of all sizes. Customers can buy the system with the latest detector technology or a conventional image intensifier. The detector is available as an easy field-upgradable component to existing Infinix VC-i systems.

"We spent a lot of time building the platform first and then adding a flat panel to it, so this system will accommodate image intensifiers," Volz said.

According to the company, the flat-panel technology streamlines workflow through an all-digital system for very clear imaging and highly efficient vascular exams. The system offers distortion-free imaging with uniform brightness plus advanced technologies, including a powerful digital acquisition, processing, and storage system, providing immediate access to images and cost-effective archiving.

Also available on the system are Zoom fluoro, 3D angio capabilities, and C-arm motion capable of lateral coverage that ensures smooth operation during procedures.

"The C-arm is on a double track," Volz said. "It does lateral movement perpendicular to the table, as well as longitudinal movement. It is smooth, offers a lot of flexibility, and is very fast."

Other system features include dose management functions, which ensure high-quality images at the lowest dose, easy-to-use tableside controls, and a flexible tabletop design. Infinix VC-i also features a triple-focused liquid metal-bearing x-ray tube with a high heat capacity to eliminate the wait for tube cooling during long exams.