New CT Scan for Our Diagnostic Imaging Center: Less Radiation, Faster Speed and Accuracy

UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital's Diagnostic Imaging Center is being renovated with the new SOMATOM Force – Siemens Healthineers CT scan. Its innovative technology guarantees the fast and reliable execution of examinations, with the minimum amount of radiation – it allows a reduction of the radiation dose between 50 and 80% – and with very high quality and definition of the images (2D and 3D functionality). The machine is able to analyze an entire organ in a single rotation with maximum accuracy and speed.

Why is the SOMATOM Force – Siemens Healthineers CT scan also suitable for children, the elderly and patients with special problems?

This type of CT scan also has the advantage of being able to be used for diagnostic tests in patients who require greater care, precisely because of its characteristics such as:

  • Reduced use of contrast medium (very low radiogenic doses)
  • No sedation
  • Speed of execution

The SOMATOM Force CT scan uses a high-definition detection system that, with a spatial resolution in the order of microns, associated with the acquisition mode with axial technique, allow to obtain a very high image quality, while the use of innovative reconstruction algorithms, allow to use very low radiogenic doses for all types of exams. For a CT scan of the chest, for example, doses lower than 1 mSv are used, a dose that is practically harmless to the body. The use of the amount of contrast medium can be reduced from 50% to 80%, which is particularly useful, among other things, in patients with border-line creatinine values, in frail patients, suffering from obesity for example, in the elderly and in children; among other things, the CT scan is equipped with a pediatric cradle for the easy and safe positioning of babies and children during the scan. Always for pediatric patients, or even claustrophobic, the presence of LED lights of different colors that illuminate the gantry tunnel, can improve the atmosphere and "alleviate" any fears and tensions.

The high resolution of the images is also functional to the study, in high definition, of small anatomical structures such as the inner ear or the lung. The SOMATOM Force CT scan also offers the possibility to visualize the chemical composition of the matter, removing from the image, with a click of the mouse, the bone structures, and reaching the total reliability of the images displayed even in the most complex anatomical structures, such as those of the skull base, where Angio CT studies are difficult to interpret.

This machine has special devices for reducing the dose radiated to the patient, consisting of various combined technical solutions, called C.A.R.E. (Combined Applications to Reduce Exposures), through which it is possible to optimize the emission of X-rays and the quantity of the contrast medium while maintaining excellent image quality.

Another advantage offered by the new technology is the possibility of acquiring images of an entire organ in a single rotation, thanks to the detector with wide anatomical coverage: this allows to minimize movement artifacts and minimize stress for the patient, speeding up the duration of the examination.

Studies in double energy: it is possible to acquire the same organ in a single examination at two different energies (80 kV and 140 kV) and then analyze on workstations, with an integrated recording software, the attenuation variations at different energies; The applications concern the study of kidney stones and the attenuation of metal artifacts from dentures or dental fillings.

The SOMATOM Force brings diagnostic imaging to a level never reached before thanks to the possibility of generating 0.4 mm layers, useful for example in more accurately evaluating stenosis, plaques or stents, thanks to the possibility of operating even on adult patients at low kV.

Speed of execution: the SOMATOM Force allows you to cover the entire chest in less than a second, if necessary even without apnea. A total body scan takes less than 5 seconds, perfusion exams or dynamic vascular imaging become routine and scans on pediatric patients take less than a second. The Turbo Flash acquisition mode is also the solution for scanning the most critical patients (e.g. obese and polytraumatized patients, uncooperative pediatric patients, patients who cannot hold their breath for long).

Cardiological examination: it is also possible to perform it on patients with high or unstable heart rate, thanks to the high temporal resolution obtainable with a minimum rotation time in the order of tenths of a second. It allows you to visualize aneurysms, plaques, stenosis, vascular abnormalities, post-operative follow-up. The extension of the carbon fiber ECG cable, to be used for synchronized heart scanning, has been designed to eliminate small metal artifacts that can annoy especially young children and babies.

Vascular examination: With 2D and 3D functions, specific software allows to quantify the presence of calcium in the coronary arteries and, on the basis of different parameters – the biological age of the patient's coronary arteries is also calculated according to the percentile – to assess the risk of any acute cardiac events. The CT scan allows a fast and efficient detection of arteriosclerosis or severe stenosis and makes possible a complete vascular analysis in less than 4 minutes.

The dynamic volumetric study becomes applicable to the brain, to the liver, as well as to the trunk and to all complex vascular structures, such as intracranial ones, which can be analyzed in separate phases of blood circulation, as in the kinematic study of arteriovenous malformations, dissections or dynamic vascularization of tumors.

Oncological examination: The advanced instrumental equipment of the SOMATOM CT scan allows an easy and fast reading of oncological images: follow-up analysis at different time points, automatic segmentation of pulmonary, liver, lymph node and generic lesions. You can then segment the lesion and visualize it in 3D. The fully automatic process of marking the lesion and automatic generation of the growth rate, accelerates the follow-up process, increasing the time available for the study phase and significantly reducing the variability of reading, to obtain reliable and repeatable diagnostic results.