New robotic imaging technology holds promise of improved cancer care

Washington D.C. 17 March 2008New research released at the Society of Interventional Radiology's (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C., holds promise of a new interventional imaging capability using advanced robotics provided by Siemens Healthcare, to improve the value of chemo-embolization in treating cancer. The research, presented by Dr. John Angle, Associate Professor of Radiology, Chief, Division of Angiography, University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, at the "Advanced Imaging Symposium", reveals clinical results from his case study using the Siemens Artis zeego, a multi-axis C-arm that employs robotic technology to enable large-volume syngo DynaCT acquisition for liver chemo-embolization.

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The Artis zeego is part of the new Artis zee family of interventional imaging systems introduced by Siemens. Siemens has been showcasing the Artis zee family at the SIR meeting. Additionally, Dr. Michael J. Wallace from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Dr. Ralf Hofmann from the University of Munich in Germany presented case studies using Artis zee solutions at the symposium.

According to Dr. Angle, the combination of the Artis zeego and large-volume syngo DynaCT enables the physician to see the whole abdomen or the entire liver for chemo-embolization and biopsies, and provides reliable post-TACE assessment of lipidol uptake. "The Artis zeego's support for expanded syngo DynaCT anatomical coverage enables the entire liver to be imaged without moving the patient", stated Dr. Angle. "We have found the system to be reliable, stable and very easy to use. We plan on expanding the scope of cases for which we use the Artis zeego."

The Artis zeego, which recently received FDA 510(k) clearance, offers breakthrough versatility, enhanced image quality and streamlined work flow across an array of clinical environments, from body and neuro-interventional radiology suites to operating rooms and hybrid rooms. Additionally, Frost & Sullivan recently selected the Artis zeego as winner of the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award at their Excellence in Medical Technologies Awards banquet.

The first two facilities in North America to receive the Artis zeego for research are St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston and the University of Virginia Health System. The versatility of the Artis zee family is exemplified by the revolutionary new Artis zeego to extend imaging capabilities through virtually unrestricted C-arm positioning. The ability to support two non-concentric rotations supports advanced cross-sectional imaging, which is not achievable with traditional C-arm systems.

The Artis zeego makes it possible for the position of the isocentre to be adjusted according to the procedural needs or the height of the physician, which is particularly beneficial to a physician during lengthy procedures while wearing a heavy lead-shielded apron. The adjustable isocentre also enables off-centre rotational angiography for all areas of the body and supports advanced 3D imaging techniques, including cross-sectional imaging through Siemens' first-to-market syngo DynaCT.

The entire Artis zee family of systems features an enhanced imaging chain - spanning image acquisition to image processing and documentation - that delivers sharply detailed images required for interventional procedures, enhances clarity in 2D imaging, and enables an array of 3D imaging applications to help enhance clinical decision-making.

"With the increasing number of minimally invasive procedures, demand for high-end imaging systems in the operating room continues to surge", stated Claus Grill, Vice President, Angiography, Cardiac, and X-ray Systems, Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc. "To meet these burgeoning needs, Siemens developed the Artis zee family, a line that provides exceptional image quality and enhancements to assist clinicians with a variety of interventional procedures - including the ability to better see stents which are getting smaller and smaller."

New and enhanced 3D imaging applications included with the Artis zee systems include:

  • syngo iPilot, which enables faster, more precise catheter navigation through 3D roadmapping that superimposes 3D reconstructions onto live 2D fluoroscopy images, 2D roadmaps or digital subtraction angiography (DSA). The application provides real time updates of C-arm and table movements, as well as zoom and source-to-image distance (SID) changes.
  • syngo iGuide, which is designed to bring needle procedures back into the interventional suite, enabling enhanced comfort for the physician and frees up the computed tomography (CT) scanner from this lengthy procedure. With the superb fluoroscopy image quality of the Artis zee systems, these procedures can be executed faster and with greater confidence.

The Artis zee systems are designed to streamline work flows and create efficiencies to help keep pace with increased interventional volume. Intuitive, menu-driven work flows streamline such procedures as obtaining soft tissue results for both frequent and infrequent users. The configurations of the Artis zee family also enable all system movements to be easily controlled with one ergonomic tableside device.

Leveraging advanced robotic technologies, the Artis zeego supports additional degrees of freedom beyond those of traditional C-arm technology. Specifically, the rotation centre of the positioner can be placed anywhere in a sphere around the patient. The Artis zeego enables physicians to perform complex scanning movements such as tilted table scans in the peripherals. This type of scanning has not been possible with traditional C-arm design. The Artis zee systems are available in floor-mounted, ceiling-mounted, multipurpose, biplane, and biplane twin configurations, as well as the multi-axis Artis zeego.

Siemens Healthcare is one of the world's largest suppliers to the health care industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Healthcare is the first fully integrated diagnostics company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy, and health care information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services.

Siemens Healthcare delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care - from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. The company employs more than 49.000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. In the fiscal year 2007, ended September 30, Siemens Healthcare reported sales of 9,85 billion euro, orders of 10,27 billion euro, and group profit of 1,32 billion euro. More company news is available in the VMW February 2008 article Black Box designs and installs an IP-based unified communications platform for Dearborn County Hospital.


Leslie Versweyveld

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