Summary: SOMATOM Force has the industry’s fastest acquisition rate of 737 mm per second, so an entire chest and abdomen study can be performed in just one second, meaning that patients do not need to hold their breath.
December 3, 2013 – The latest dual-source computed tomography
(CT) launch by Siemens Healthcare, SOMATOM® Force, is designed to enable considerably faster imaging, more
precise diagnoses, and the possibility to achieve significant dose reductions.
Siemens debuted the new system at the the 99th
Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North
America (RSNA), December 1-6 in Chicago. The system extends advanced CT imaging
capabilities and dose-reduction features to some of the most challenging
patients, e.g., patients who are very young, suffering from renal
insufficiency, seriously ill, or obese.
Patients suffering from renal insufficiency can benefit from imaging
on the SOMATOM Force, which has the potential to allow radiologists to use significantly
less contrast medium. “SOMATOM Force negates many aspects of CT that until now
have limited its application. For example, the administration of contrast medium
that proves problematic for many patients can be greatly lowered,” said Walter
Märzendorfer, CEO of Computed Tomography and Radiation Oncology at Siemens
According to the national Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), more than 10% of adult Americans – over 20 million
people – have renal insufficiency due to chronic kidney disease.2
Contrast medium containing iodine can also place an additional burden on the
kidneys of older patients – particularly those with chronic illnesses. Initial research
examinations on SOMATOM Force show that it is possible to conduct chest studies
with between 25 and 35 mL of contrast vs. the commonly administered 90 to 110 mL.
This reduction is made possible by the two Vectron X-ray tubes in SOMATOM
Force, which enable routine examinations at very low tube voltages of 70 to 100
kilovolts. This low tube voltage increases the contrast-to-noise ratio and can
reduce the amount of contrast medium accordingly.
SOMATOM Force has the industry’s fastest acquisition rate of 737
mm per second, so an entire chest and abdomen study can be performed in just
one second, meaning that patients do not need to hold their breath. Because of
the acquisition speed, even patients with high heart rates can be imaged
without disruptive motion artifacts. In research use, SOMATOM Force has
delivered diagnostic-quality images at a low dose for a patient with a 90
beats-per-minute heart rate, with no use of beta blockers to slow the heart
rate. Another advantage in chest imaging is the system’s enlarged 50-cm field
of view in Turbo Flash Mode, which has an acquisition rate of almost 400 mm per
second, allowing depiction of the entire chest in roughly one second.
The recent publication of results from the National Lung
Screening Trial (NLST) lung cancer study, funded by the National Cancer
Institute (NCI), has prompted a realignment of priorities in cancer prevention.
The NLST study demonstrated that mortality rates can be reduced by 20% if early
lung cancer detection is performed with low-dose CT vs. conventional chest
X-rays.3 SOMATOM Force is particularly suitable for such early
detection examinations because it is able to achieve previously unattained dose
values in this type of setting – up to 50% lower radiation dose vs. that of
comparable CT systems, which is attributable to two special spectral filters
known as Selective Photon Shields that optimize the X-ray spectrum to
significantly improve the air/soft-tissue contrast. Early research examinations
performed with SOMATOM Force show achievable dose values of 0.1 mSv for a lung
information: www.siemens.com/healthcare and www.appliedradiology.com
product is pending 510(k) clearance and is not yet commercially available in
the United States.
2 Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/factsheets/kidney.htm
3 National Lung Screening Trial Research
Team, et al (2011). Reduced lung-cancer mortality with low-dose computed
tomographic screening. N Engl J Med, 365:395-409.