More than 26,600 imaging professionals were among the more than
61,500 attendees at the 91st Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting
of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA 2005), held
November 27 to December 2, 2005 in Chicago, IL.
Attendees could chose from more than 300 refresher courses, 150
infoRAD exhibits, 7 hands-on computer workshops, and more than 1100
educational exhibits, and could meet with more than 680 technical
exhibitors who filled nearly 470,000 square feet of the McCormick
Place Convention Center.
Siemens Medical Solutions features MR
Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, PA) displayed its full line
of imaging products at RSNA 2005, highlighting recent enhancements
to the company's magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and radiography
technologies as well as previews of several works-in-progress.
In the field of MR imaging, Siemens introduced several advanced
applications that draw on the combination of its Tim (Total imaging
matrix) and syngo applications. Among the featured applications
were syngo SPACE and syngo SWI. The syngo SPACE was designed to
provide fast, accurate 3-dimensional (3D) contrast imaging that can
replace multiple 2-dimensional (2D) acquisitions in certain
anatomic areas, such as the complex spine, head, inner ear,
abdomen, and pelvis. With the combination of SPACE and Tim's
Parallel Imaging capabilities, the company notes, users can
identify small plaques with higher confidence and can survey the
brain with isotropic resolution in <5 minutes.
The susceptibility-weighted imaging technique, syngo SWI, was
developed to show blood products and venous structures with greater
clarity quickly, particularly for depiction of bleeding in stroke
and brain trauma patients, visualization of contusions and shearing
injuries, and identification of minute intracranial vascular
The company also showcased its Tim Breast Suite for MR imaging
of the breast. This solution includes dedicated protocols in
various orientations, providing image assessment in any plane, and
DynaCAD, a set of Siemens-optimized computer-aided detection (CAD)
tools designed for use in breast MR imaging.
Siemens also featured the MAGNETOM Trio, a 3T whole-body MR
system with Tim (Figure 1), and the MAGNETOM Espree, an open-bore
1.5T system, also equipped with Tim. The proprietary Tim technology
is a seamless, whole-body surface coil design that combines up to
102 integrated coil elements with up to 32 radiofrequency channels.
According to Siemens, it enables flexible-coil combinations that
can encompass a variety of imaging needs for local high-resolution
imaging or large anatomical coverage of up to 205 cm (6′9″) without
patient repositioning or coil changes.
The company also previewed the capabilities of syngo Expert-i as
a work-in-progress. Syngo Expert-i gives physicians the ability to
remotely interact from virtually anywhere during an MR examination.
While the patient is being scanned, the entire patient set-up,
imaging data, and all sequences can be viewed in real-time, via a
networked personal computer. Siemens conducted 2 real-time live
remote scans each day from the University of California, Los
Angeles and Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
"As an innovation leader in MR, Siemens is constantly enhancing
its portfolio of clinical applications, helping the clinician
achieve faster, more accurate diagnostic workflow," said Nancy
Gillen, Vice President, MRI Division, Siemens Medical Solutions.
"Tim-powered applications have brought medical imaging to the next
level by allowing doctors to detect and diagnose disease states
earlier, offer more treatment options, and increase workflow and
Philips focuses on connectivity
Philips Medical Systems (Bothell, WA) designed its RSNA 2005
display around the concept of connectivity. Using a fictional
patient named "Ana," Philips showed attendees how a variety of the
company's technologies can work together to improve patient care.
The featured systems included the company's Smart Exam, a new MR
workflow system; the Brilliance Workspace Portal and Halo computed
tomography (CT) products, designed to address patient throughput
and comfort though new data management, access, and product design;
and the company's new PET/CT Viewer that is available on the
Extended Brilliance Workspace.
"Philips is keenly aware that in order to contribute to the
increased efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of the healthcare
system, we need to design advanced new medical technologies that
are fully integrated with their surroundings," said Brent Shafer,
Philips' Executive Vice President and CEO, North America. "Our
technology portfolio clearly illustrates how the advanced new
radiology solutions we are introducing this year, and have in past
years, all integrate into the patient care cycle, allowing
clinicians to focus on their patients."
For the first time at RSNA, Philips also showed the new
DigitalDiagnost Compact, a step-in solution for direct digital
radiography. Designed for all general radiography applications at
moderate throughput rates, the system includes a 17 ×17-inch flat
detector mounted on a fixed, multipurpose stand with a tilting and
swiveling arm, a trolley with a 4-way floating table top, and a
ceiling-suspended tube carrier.
In the field of radiography, Philips introduced its new fully
motorized, mobile X-ray system, Practix Convenio (Figure 2). This
system combines motorized maneuverability and a battery capable of
a full day of applications before it must be recharged. Designed
for use in the intensive care and emergency departments, the system
includes a swiveling column, a telescopic tube arm, and
motor-assisted fine positioning from the tube head as well as 36
Anatomically Programmed Radiography settings and "hot key"
functionality for commonly used customer settings.
Finally, also as works-in-progress, Philips previewed 2 new CT
technologies. The first, the Simultaneous Multi Energy detector, is
currently undergoing clinical trials in Israel. This new CT
detector is made up of layers designed to simultaneously detect
both low-energy (soft) and high-energy (hard) X-rays. The company
believes that simultaneous imaging of both soft and hard radiation
will improve tissue characterization without requiring a second
beam of radiation, thereby avoiding the problems of time lag,
registration artifacts, and increased radiation dose. The second
innovation is a full-coverage detector platform based on Nano-Panel
technology that will image an entire organ, such as the heart or
head, in a single rotation.
Hologic previews works-in-progress
Hologic, Inc. (Bedford, MA) unveiled 2 significant
works-in-progress at RSNA this year: Breast tomosynthesis with a
selenium-based detector and 3D image reconstruction for dual energy
X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
Following 2 years of diagnostic and screening clinical trials,
Hologic presented its latest breast tomosynthesis images (Figure
3). The company noted that it expects that the ongoing trials will
find improved sensitivity and specificity with digital breast
tomosynthesis compared with 2D digital mammography.
The company also announced the formation of a strategic research
collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, for the
development of tomographic 3D image reconstruction of the hip
utilizing the company's Discovery line of bone densitometers and
presented such images as works-in-progress.
Hologic's Discovery technology uses its patented rotating C-arm
to acquire multiple views of the femur at different angles.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins then use this low-dose acquisition to
construct a 3D volumetric model of the femur, which the company
believes will allow for a more accurate assessment of the complex
"Clinicians have long sought the next generation of osteoporosis
assessment tools to better predict femur fracture risk," said Brad
Herrington, Vice President of skeletal health imaging. "Virtually
all imaging modalities have turned to 3D. We believe that a
low-dose tomographic assessment of bone density and geometry may
provide the ultimate clinical tool to discern bone structure and
strength. Our hope is that tomographic 3D analysis will ultimately
be available on all Discovery systems with rotational C-arm
The company is seeking researchers to assist with the clinical
validation of this new imaging feature.
GE Healthcare focuses on early detection
GE Healthcare's (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) display at RSNA 2005
featured technologies designed to "enable an 'early health' model
of care in the future, focused on earlier diagnosis, presymptomatic
disease detection, and disease prevention."
"We are providing transformational medical technologies that are
shaping a new age of patient care," said Joe Hogan, company
President and CEO. "GE's expertise in medical imaging and
information technologies, medical diagnostics, and drug discovery
is helping radiologists around the world reimagine new ways to
predict, diagnose, inform, and treat disease earlier, so their
patients can live their lives to the fullest."
GE Healthcare displayed a range of products and services,
including the company's volumetric CT scanner, the LightSpeed VCT,
and a new bone mineral density system, the Lunar iDXA.
The company noted that LightSpeed VCT is the fastest-selling
product in GE Healthcare's history: 5 months after announcing the
100th worldwide installation, the company announced the 500th
worldwide installation at RSNA.
The LightSpeed VCT (which can create 64 submillimeter images,
totaling 40 mm of anatomical coverage, in a single rotation)
features several cardiovascular applications (Figure 4). The 5-Beat
Cardiac application was designed to allow physicians to scan the
human heart in as few as
5 beats. The Triple RuleOut feature was developed to help
clinicians rule out (or diagnose) aortic dissection, pulmonary
embolism, and coronary artery disease with a single scan. The
Stroke WorkUp feature provides the ability to dynamically acquire
both anatomy and perfusion/ blood flow to the brain in one
The company also introduced its latest bone mineral density
system, the Lunar iDXA, at RSNA 2005 (Figure 5). Approved for
marketing in October 2005, this system can handle patients weighing
up to 400 lbs and allows clinicians to simultaneously assess body
composition and ascertain fat distribution while the patient is
undergoing bone mineral density testing. It can also determine
regional body fat composition, which is an important indicator of
risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
"The new iDXA provides both excellent image quality and precise
bone density measurements, allowing clinicians to better assess
bone mineral density, bone structure, and, ultimately, bone
strength," said Ken Faulkner, chief scientist for GE Healthcare's
Lunar business. As a result, clinicians can monitor a patient's
progress and response to therapy earlier in the treatment process,
by tracking changes in bone health that had previously been too
minor to detect.
Medweb introduces RIS and Web PACS products
Medweb (San Francisco, CA) unveiled a new radiology information
system (RIS), the Medweb Dashboard, at RSNA 2005.
Dashboard was designed to allow single or multisite radiology
groups to share workloads between multiple picture archiving and
communication systems (PACS) and hospital information systems (HIS)
[or RIS], regardless of vendor. The system provides what the
company calls a "virtual reading room" that automatically loads,
assigns, and reassigns cases to radiologists based on workload,
rather than location. It also allows the user to route exams based
on customizable rules based on a radiologist's state licensure,
hospital privileges, subspecialty, or real-time workload
This system handles images, dictation, transcription, and
reporting. Voice recognition and billing capabilities are available
as options. It also tracks statistics and turnaround times,
automates reassignment of studies within a designated time frame,
and prioritizes stat exams as part of the basic workflow. A
dictation and viewing interface automatically routes and reinserts
the signed reports back to the originating PACS, RIS, fax, or
printer as an HL7 or DICOM electronic message, fax, printout, or
e-mail, according to the preferences of the client facility. It
also includes a private, encrypted instant messaging system for
collaboration between physicians.
The company also introduced its new Medweb Advanced 3D Web PACS
at this year's meeting. This system allows users on a standard
personal computer to perform advanced 3D templating and auto
segmentation of image data from multislice CT scanners.
Designed for use in the evaluation of studies originating on 16-
and 32-slice CT scanners, Medweb Advanced 3D Web PACS allows the
distribution of information in a 3D volume that the company notes
is easy to display and navigate. It allows the user to perform
isolation, sculpting, zoom-in, and 360˚ image rotation, as well as
maximum-intensity projection (MIP), multiplanar reformatting (MPR),
various measurements, and 3D cursor functions alongside
conventional 2D image windows (Figure 6). The auto segmentation
tools isolate bone, blood vessels, and other organs, using either
simple template buttons or customizable settings without the need
for a dedicated 3D workstation.
Medweb Advanced 3D Web PACS can be integrated into a
conventional PACS infrastructure, can act as a standalone PACS, or
can function as a modality PACS system for the increased imaging
demands created by the latest CT technology.