Siemens installs first SOMATOM Sensation 64-slice CT system in United States

Malvern 02 August 2004Patients at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota were the first Americans scanned by the SOMATOM Sensation 64 computed tomography (CT) system last week. Developed by Siemens Medical Solutions, this system sets a new benchmark in imaging quality with its ability to acquire images of the smallest intracranial, pulmonary, mesenteric and peripheral vessels in less than 10 seconds.


The system was recently installed as the focal technology of Mayo Clinic's new CT Clinical Innovation Center, where clinicians and researchers seek to advance CT imaging and post-processing techniques for use in patient care. The patient-oriented research will focus on quantification of normal and abnormal physiological function, early visualization of disease, difficult-to-image patients, and radiation dose reduction.

"That we are the first United States site to install this system continues our long history of innovation in CT, and we expect the Siemens 64-slice system to allow us to take CT imaging to new levels of performance and clinical utility", stated Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., associate professor of radiologic physics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. "With the Siemens system, we can image incredibly small details in a matter of seconds, without having to make compromises in spatial resolution, scan time, or image quality. There is a dramatic increase in the amount of information we can acquire from a single scan. Because of that, we expect more diagnostic questions to be answered than ever before."

Researchers at the CT Clinical Innovation Center at Mayo Clinic will look at the future role of 64-slice technology in routine clinical work, and hope to advance patient care in areas such as trauma imaging, cardiovascular and neurological applications. For example, Phillip Araoz, M.D., Mayo Clinic department of Radiology, will lead a multi-disciplinary team in a trial of gated CT angiography versus conventional cardiac angiography.

Joel Fletcher, M.D., assistant professor of radiology, believes that further investigation into the Sensation 64's capabilities will result in a reduction in the need for invasive procedures: "Not only can we conduct exams in a shorter period of time, but we are able to obtain significantly morediagnostic information than with previous systems. Because of the vastly improved spatial resolution and speed, we can image smaller structures, construct the imaging planes that correspond to human anatomy rather than a CT gantry, and image dynamic processes not measured before. We are able to get to the heart of the medical matter quickly, effectively and in a non-invasive and painless procedure for the patient."

"Mayo Clinic is an ideal partner for Siemens to drive cutting-edge CT innovation because we both have the mission of bringing the best medicine to patients", stated Erich Reinhardt, Ph.D., president and CEO of Siemens Medical Solutions. "The depth of clinical expertise that Mayo Clinic is famous for, combined with Siemens' focus on research and development and our high level of physicist and application support, will produce high-impact practice innovations." Dr. McCollough agreed, noting that Siemens was the logical choice for Mayo Clinic because of the company's "strong science leadership" and commitment to improving patient care.

The SOMATOM Sensation 64, cleared for the United States market in April 2004, provides 64 slices per rotation for unprecedented sub-millimeter volume coverage, and the world's fastest gantry rotation time at 0,33 seconds. The new system delivers optimal image quality in cardiac, neurology and body imaging applications with a spatial resolution of 0,4 mm.

The SOMATOM Sensation 64 was first introduced at the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) 2003 in Chicago. After completing a comprehensive testing phase at leading clinical institutions in the Unites States, Europe and Asia, the system will be commercially available in Fall 2004.

Mayo Clinic is a charitable, not-for-profit medical centre based in Rochester, Minnesota. Its mission is to provide the best care to every patient every day through integrated clinical practice, education and research. Mayo Clinic comprises an integrated multi-speciality clinic and two hospitals, staffed by more than 1500 physicians.

Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG with headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania and Erlangen, Germany, is one of the largest suppliers to the health care industry in the world. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, health care information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. Employing approximately 31.000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7,4 billion euro, orders of 7,8 billion euro and group profit of 1,1 billion euro for fiscal 2003. More news on the company is available in the VMW August 2004 article Siemens signs exclusive distribution agreement with Platinum Medical for U.S. mobile C-arm market

Leslie Versweyveld

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