SEPTEMBER 27--Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, CA; www.medical.toshiba.com) has launched the Aquilion 16, an advanced 16-slice CT scanner that provides increased patient comfort and a choice of speed and accuracy. Aquilion 16 builds on previous CT technology with its unique 40-row detector design, isotropic scanning, and patented image-reconstruction technology to offer greater diagnostic capabilities enabling patients to avoid invasive medical procedures.
At the heart of the Aquilion 16 is its multidetector design. The system's hybrid 40-row Quantum Detector is capable of producing 16 simultaneous slices of 0.5, 1, or 2 mm with each gantry revolution for a total z-axis coverage of 32 mm. Aquilion 16 can sustain high image quality with minimal dose due to Toshiba's use of highly efficient ceramic material for its detector. This material allows for the lowest noise and highest dose efficiency available on the market, which is reflected in the outstanding low-contrast performance of the system.
In addition to superior dose efficiency to protect patients, Toshiba improved on the mechanical design and coverage of the Aquilion 16 with a new gantry. The system accommodates scanning of larger patients with the ability to tilt 30°, as well as a new couch with a scan range of 1800 mm to accommodate taller patients.
The most important contribution of multislice CT scanners is the ability to acquire isotropic volume data sets in a short time. Using 16 simultaneous 0.5- or 1-mm slices, the scanner can acquire isotropic data sets of any region of the body within a single breath-hold. The reconstructed 3-D images have essentially the same dimension in all three axes, making it possible to view the data from any direction without loss of image quality.
The speed and accuracy of this scanning technology significantly reduces patient examination times. Traditional CT angiograms that usually take 60 seconds are now only 15 seconds with the Aquilion 16. Furthermore, use of these thin slices for scanning improves the accuracy of measurement and makes Aquilion 16 scans more useful for quantitative treatment planning and calculation of volume.
Toshiba has developed a unique, helical cone-beam reconstruction technique for the Aquilion 16 based on the Feldkamp method for axial image reconstruction from helical scans. By incorporating only data from views that are close to the image reconstruction plane, cone-angle effects are reduced and artifacts are virtually eliminated, resulting in better image quality. Unlike more approximate reconstruction techniques, the properties of the reconstructed axial image are constant over the full field of view, ensuring precise images.