Siemens has unveiled two new angiography systems at RSNA in Chicago that feature brand new X-ray tubes and detectors that together produce a substantially higher spatial resolution over previous generation systems. The new systems allow neuro and cardiac surgeons to visualize small vessels with greater precision during interventional procedures and provide options for radiation dose reduction where the absolute best possible imaging is not necessary.
As an example of what is possible with the new angiography systems, Siemens was showing off an image of an implanted neuro drainage stent that’s about the width of a human hair. Pretty remarkable if you ask us.
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Instead of the coiled filaments used in conventional X-ray tubes, flat emitter technology is used exclusively in the new tube to emit electrons. Flat emitters enable smaller quadratic focal spots that lead to improved visibility of small vessels by up to 70 percent. In addition to the hardware innovations are several software applications that improve interventional imaging. In coronary artery disease treatment, the applications allow precise correlation of angiography images with ultrasound images taken by a probe inside the coronary arteries.
Stents are imaged in real-time during therapy, with motion stabilization created by simultaneous correction for the heartbeat.The Artis Q.zen series combines the X-ray tube with a detector technology that allows detection at ultra-low radiation levels. Artis Q.zen imaging can use doses as low as half the usual levels normally applied in angiography. This improvement is the result of several innovations, including a fundamental change in detector technology. Until now, almost all detectors have been based on amorphous silicon. The new crystalline silicon structure of the Artis Q.zen detector is more homogenous, allowing for more effective amplification of the signal, greatly reducing the electronic noise even at ultra-low doses. Other new 3D applications can image the smallest structures inside the head. Their high spatial resolution is crucial for imaging intracranial stents or other miniscule structures, such as the cochlea in the inner ear. Moving organs such as the lungs can be imaged in 3D in less than 3 seconds, reducing the number of motion artifacts and the amount of contrast agent required.