The first systems in the new family are Artis icono biplane, a dual-plane system designed for use in multiple disciplines, and Artis icono floor, a single-detector, floor-mounted unit optimized for vascular and interventional radiology procedures. Siemens launched the systems with an unveiling on February 28 in its booth at ECR 2019.
The use of interventional techniques has been growing rapidly for a variety of clinical applications, from cardiology to neurology to radiology. However, the unique requirements of each discipline often necessitate that each specialty acquire and operate its own dedicated angiography unit -- an expensive proposition.
For example, to minimize their exposure to scattered radiation, interventional radiologists and neuroradiologists usually prefer to have the system's detector on their side of the patient and the x-ray tube on the opposite side. Cardiologists usually prefer the opposite configuration to improve the quality of heart images, finding the increased radiation exposure an acceptable trade-off.
This results in situations where multiple angiography systems are in use about 70% of the time, according to Philip Stenner, director of global marketing for interventional radiology at Siemens. What if both departments could use a single interventional system at 100% capacity?
That's what the Artis icono systems are designed to do, thanks to a new detector positioning system called Lateral Plane Switch that lets users switch from the optimal radiology configuration to the best cardiology setup, and vice versa, in just seconds.
"You can easily switch from one detector position to another," Stenner told AuntMinnieEurope.com. "We can have multidisciplinary use without compromise, with neuroradiology use in the morning, then cardiology in the afternoon, for instance."
In addition to the detector positioning system, Siemens also redesigned its angiography imaging chain from the ground up for the Artis icono systems. Called Optiq, the imaging chain includes redesigned image processing, ranging from acquisition to postprocessing to on-screen display. This results in high image quality across a wide range of C-arm angles and patient weights, which also leads to lower radiation dose.
The units use the company's latest 16-bit high dynamic range (HDR) digital detectors, with two detector sizes: a 30 x 40-cm detector for radiology and neuro work and a new 21 x 21-cm detector for cardiology procedures. Another new tool is Case Flow, which incorporates predetermined system settings that can be customized by users to simplify procedures and speed up workflow.
Siemens plans to begin shipping both Artis icono systems in the summer of 2019; the systems do not yet have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Initial sales will be in the U.S. and Europe, with global shipments to follow.