World’s first clinical images acquired using a 64-slice CT system

Siemens Medical Solutions today released the world’s first clinical images acquired using a 64-slice computed tomography (CT) system, which were acquired at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Developed by Siemens, the Somatom Sensation 64 sets a new benchmark in imaging quality with its ability to visualize the smallest intracranial, pulmonary, mesenteric and peripheral vessels in less than ten seconds.

“Imaging of this quality, sharpness and speed gives us the opportunity to study the human anatomy at a level that has only been dreamt about,” said Dr. Werner Bautz, Director of the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. “Through the eyes of the scanner, we now can see the smallest of details, which ultimately may improve early diagnosis and treatment options.”

The Somatom Sensation 64, cleared for the US market in April, provides 64-slice sub-millimeter imaging per rotation for unprecedented sub-millimeter volume coverage and the world’s fastest gantry rotation time at 0.37 seconds. The new system delivers optimal image quality in cardiac, neurology and body imaging applications with a spatial resolution of 0.4 mm.

“With the development of the Somatom Sensation 64, we at Siemens responded directly to the needs of our clinical users, and have established new benchmarks in image quality, resolution and speed,” said Dr. Richard Hausmann, head of CT Division, Siemens Medical Solutions. “The Sensation 64’s unmatched resolution provides a level of detail that we expect will open up entirely new applications for CT technology, proving that Siemens is once again pushing forward the boundaries and capabilities of medical imaging.”

Acquisition of 64 slices per rotation is possible through the new Straton X-ray tube’s “Double z-Sampling” technology, and new Siemens proprietary detector technology. “Double z-Sampling” allows two focal points in the anode by precise deflection of the electron beam, oscillating almost 5000 times per second, within the X-ray tube. This generates two overlapping beams to pass the scan field. The double readout of the detector produces 64 slice projections at down to half the thickness of a detector slice, thus increasing spatial resolution and providing unprecedented image quality.
The Somatom Sensation 64 was first introduced at the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) 2003 in Chicago. Now installed at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Sensation 64 is operated jointly by the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and the Institute of Medical Physics. After completing a comprehensive testing phase at leading clinical institutions in the Unites States, Europe and Asia, the system will be commercially available in fall 2004.

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