Siemens introduces dual energy applications to SOMATOM Definition
19 March 2008
Siemens Healthcare has announced US market clearance of four new
applications aimed at simplifying the diagnosis of diseases of the
heart, brain, lungs, and extremity joints.
With a dual x-ray tube and dual-detector design, the SOMATOM
Definition routinely provides images at twice the temporal resolution,
twice the speed, and twice the power of single-source systems. Siemens
announced the new applications at ECR 2008, held last week in Vienna.
The SOMATOM Definition acquires images of outstanding quality and
detail even of hearts with a high heart rate or irregular heartbeat, and
at only half the dose of previous Siemens systems. The two x-ray tubes
provide the system with features previously not existing in diagnostic
This includes the possibility of, simultaneously, operating the x-ray
tubes at different voltage levels (dual energy, or DE) in a single scan
so that two data records with different patient information are
generated, thereby displaying tissue and fluids and facilitating the
distinction of vessels, bones, and soft tissue.
"The SOMATOM Definition moves CT to an entirely new dimension of
diagnostic sensitivity where contrast in the image is not merely limited
to x-ray attenuation differences, but may include elements of functional
and tissue characterization. This additional information may be used to
improve diagnostic outcomes and to simplify complex workflows," explains
Peter Kingma, Vice President, CT, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
"The Definition already offers enhanced resolution, speed, and power.
Now, we are adding convenience of use to the mix."
One of the new dual energy applications for the SOMATOM Definition is
syngo DE Heart PBV (perfusion blood volume), which provides
colour-marking of non-perfused parts of the myocardium during cardiology
examinations. Moreover, syngo DE Heart PBV enables the isolated display
of the heart, for example, without thorax structures.
The heart perfusion is examined primarily after an infarction to
determine damaged areas of the organ. For the first time, DECT can
detect a stenosis and its degree, as well as the location and extent of
the resulting reduced perfusion in the myocardium in a single scan.
Deposits of uric acid crystals in the joints of gout patients may
damage the cartilaginous and osseous substance, particularly if the
disease has been chronic for several years. With syngo DE Gout, CT can
now also be used for gout detection. The new dual energy application
assists the physician in clearly identifying uric acid crystals in the
extremities and monitoring changes in the crystals in the course of
syngo DE Lung Vessels provides a whole series of applications to
assist the physician in CT examinations of patients with suspected
pulmonary embolism (a sudden occlusion of blood vessels in the lungs).
The new applications enable the detection of non-perfused blood vessels
and tissue of the lungs through coloor-marking. The 'lung isolation'
application isolates the entire organ to allow the assessment of the
perfusion situation without obstructing neighbouring organs.
syngo DE Brain Hemorrhage assists in the distinction between new and
old hemorrhages in the event of cerebral bleeding. The two energy levels
of the X-ray tubes are used to fade out the contrast medium (CM). In the
past, this had required two scans. The contrast medium subtraction
offers two advantages: A non-contrast medium enhanced examination is not
necessary, and the patient is spared the dose of a second scan.
The four new dual energy applications presented by Siemens at the ECR
2008 supplement the six existing CT applications with dual energy
features: syngo DE Direct Angio; syngo DE Lung PBV; syngo DE
Musculoskeletal; syngo DE Calculi Characterization; syngo DE Hardplaque;
syngo DE Virtual Unenhanced.