Siemens Brings Dose-Neutral Dual Energy into CT Clinical Routine
· TwinBeam Dual Energy on SOMATOM Definition Edge, Definition AS CT systems to help clinicians improve decision-making for more patients
Siemens Healthcare’s approach to delivering dose-neutral dual energy images obtained on SOMATOM computed tomography (CT) scanners using TwinBeam Dual Energy technology is now commercially available. With this availability, which affects the SOMATOM Definition Edge and SOMATOM Definition AS CT systems, Siemens sets the benchmark for acquiring single-source dual energy images in clinical routine. Dual energy imaging has gained momentum as a clinical imaging tool amid pressure to reduce the cost and frequency of medical imaging while increasing quality of care. With dual energy imaging, only one CT study is acquired, but the imaging data can be used in a variety of additional methods to improve clinical decision-making. Siemens’ TwinBeam Dual Energy approach is unique in that it enables acquisition of this data without introducing additional radiation – a dose-neutral dual energy approach.
Dose-neutral dual energy imaging entails the examination of the same body region using two different energy levels. The resulting two datasets offer detailed information regarding tissue composition that extends beyond pure morphology. However, in cases where data have been acquired using fast kV-switching or dual layer detector technology, dual energy imaging has encountered significant drawbacks. In the past, single-source dual energy images acquired via these methods were excluded from routine clinical use because the X-ray tube did not emit the two energy spectra simultaneously, but rather in succession through rapid switching or spectral separation at the detector side. With kV-switching, image quality is impaired significantly due to the limited data per energy level. Also, increased X-ray doses are inevitable because the dose cannot be modulated to reduce radiation.
Beam-splitting innovation in dose-neutral dual energy
The innovative design of Siemens’ TwinBeam Dual Energy technology enables a dose-neutral approach. Via a split filter within the X-ray tube, the X-ray beam is divided into two different energy spectra prior to reaching the patient. The result: simultaneous generation of dose-neutral dual energy images.
“With the availability of TwinBeam Dual Energy technology on the SOMATOM Definition Edge and SOMATOM Definition AS systems, Siemens Healthcare provides the tools necessary for health care facilities to realize dose-neutral dual energy imaging in single-source CT,” said Douglas Ryan, Vice President, CT Business Line, Siemens Healthcare North America. “This technique paves the way for dual energy’s use in routine procedures and especially in challenging cases. Now, Siemens can increase diagnostic confidence while helping providers control healthcare costs.”
For example, Siemens’ approach to dose-neutral dual energy imaging in general offers tissue characterization that potentially may help physicians identify and classify challenging abdominal lesions. Additional information regarding contrast uptake in the tumor potentially may aid physicians in monitoring patient response to treatment.
With this approach to dose-neutral dual energy, CT systems with TwinBeam technology can simplify radiology workflow. Unlike other methods of single-source dual energy CT imaging, the SOMATOM Definition Edge’s acquired dual energy datasets are preprocessed intelligently directly after acquisition. The SOMATOM Definition Edge can also send datasets automatically to the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) with Siemens’ Fast DE Results technology.
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Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2015, which ended on September 30, 2015, Siemens generated revenue of €75.6 billion and net income of €7.4 billion. At the end of September 2015, the company had around 348,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.