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CT radiation doses slashed


24 November, 2008  

Siemens Healthcare today unveiled the new Somatom Definition Flash, a CT scanner that sets new standards in speed and dose reduction.

The system requires only a fraction of the radiation dose that systems previously required to scan even the tiniest anatomical details faster than ever before.

The Somatom Definition Flash is a new dual-source CT featuring two X-ray tubes that simultaneously revolve around the patient’s body. The fastest scanning speed in CT (43cm/s) and a temporal resolution of 75ms, enable complete scans of the entire chest region in just 0.6 seconds.

Patients will therefore no longer be required to hold their breath during the exam as they were in the past.

At the same time, the Somatom Definition Flash operates at a radically reduced radiation dose. For example, a spiral heart scan can be performed with less than 1mSv, whereas the average effective dose required for this purpose usually ranges from 8mSv to 40mSv.

Thomas Flohr, Director of CT Physics and Applications, Siemens Healthcare, said: “At some point we asked, what is the direction of medical CT for the future? Should we just follow the traditional path for development of CT, which means adding more and more slices with doubtful clinical benefits, or should we address the real clinical needs?

“We wanted to find ways to reduce the dose to the patient to levels that are far below the dosages that are applied in conventional CT and that are in a range that is safe for the patient.

“The dual-source system together with the extremely fast rotation time results in a scanner about three times faster than existing technologies. You can scan the entire body in about four seconds, or the entire heart in a quarter of a second.”

Sami Attya, CEO CT Business Unit, Siemens Healthcare, believes that the radiology world will be surprised at the release of a such an advanced scanner. “We did this a couple of years ago, and now we are doing it again. Other manufacturers simply do not have the technology available. Dual source gives you different starting points to play with. The first dual-source was a bold move, and the competition did not catch up. This is now our second generation.”

The Somatom Definition Flash will be available for sale in the first quarter of 2009.

Siemens will present the Somatom Definition Flash CT scanner at the 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) at the end of the November.

Siemens Healthcare