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Siemens Computed Tomography: 40 Years at the Cutting Edge of Technological Development 2015.07.26

Erlangen, Germany - July 23, 2015 - 40 years after the launch of its first series model, Siretom, Siemens Healthcare is looking back on the successful development of its computed tomography division. With innovations such as Spiral, Multislice, and most recently Dual Source technology, Siemens has been driving the CT market and clinical diagnostics for decades. Today, three patients are scanned with a Siemens CT system every second. The company's portfolio ranges from robust systems for basic care, such as Somatom Scope, through to the world's fastest and most powerful CT scanner, Somatom Force.

Somatom Force, the latest top-of-the-range model, proves Siemens Healthcare's technological leadership.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 

Erlangen, Germany – July 23, 2015


• Siretom, the first Siemens computer tomograph, began series production in 1975

• Siemens shaped image-based diagnostics through innovations such as Spiral, Multislice, and Dual Source CT

• Somatom Force, the latest top-of-the-range model, proves Siemens Healthcare's technological leadership


40 years after the launch of its first series model, Siretom, Siemens Healthcare is looking back on the successful development of its computed tomography division with a ceremony held at the Siemens MedMuseum in Erlangen, Germany.

X-ray Tomography
A radiation source and X-ray film were first rotated around a body part in the early 1930s.
Using a Siemens-Introskop, it was possible to image a slice of the body only a few millimeters in diameter.
The pictures were free of superimpositions, but blurred outside the focal area.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
With innovations such as Spiral, Multislice, and most recently Dual Source technology, Siemens has been driving the CT market and clinical diagnostics for decades.

Today, three patients are scanned with a Siemens CT system every second.

Patients Scanned with Siemens Prototype
In 1972, Siemens began intensive development of its first CT scanner.
Using the prototype installed at University Hospital Frankfurt, it was already possible to identify brain hemorrhages and tumors on tomographic images.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
The company's portfolio ranges from robust systems for basic care, such as Somatom Scope, through to the world's fastest and most powerful CT scanner, Somatom Force.

Siretom in Production
Siretom, the first production model, yielded images of the inside of the human head with a resolution of 128x128 pixels, a remarkable achievement at the time.
In a process lasting less than five minutes, two detectors rotated around the patient in 180 individual steps.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Its peak values show how rapidly technology has progressed for physicians and patients: While Siretom took around nine minutes to perform a complete head scan back in 1975, today Somatom Force can scan the entire upper body in under one second with an X-ray dose of less than 0.1 millisievert – around the same amount of radiation exposure as an intercontinental flight.

Dr. Bernd Montag

Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Healthcare GmbH
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
"Together with our clinical research partners and customers, we have made things possible in the last 40 years that others didn't even dare to try,"
says Walter Märzendorfer, CEO of Computed Tomography and Radiation Oncology at Siemens Healthcare, "such as Dual Source technology."

Walter Maerzendorfer

CEO of the Computed Tomography & Radiation Oncology Business Unit, Imaging and Therapy Systems Division, Siemens Healthcare.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Since presenting the world's first Dual Source CT, Somatom Definition, back in 2005, Siemens has fitted all its top devices with two X-ray tubes and detectors.

This technology allowed Somatom Definition to produce clinical images at a previously unheard-of speed.

CT Scanner Siretom on display at the Siemens MedMuseum.
A look at the exhibition and the "slices and sections" area.
Computed tomography (the Siretom unit is shown in the foreground here) and magnetic resonance imaging (the Magnetom system is shown in the background) visualize the inside of the body in thin slices.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
The beating heart can now be scanned in fractions of a second, and heart CT imaging has become a routine clinical procedure.

Dual Source CT also paved the way for spectral dual energy imaging, which can precisely differentiate between the different materials in the body – tissue, bones, and implants. Somatom Force is also based on the successful dual source principle.

Siretom computed tomography scanner
The Siretom computed tomography system, developed especially for diagnostic head scans, is launched on the market.
Two slices are taken simultaneously, and a scan of the entire head takes nine minutes.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Other Siemens technologies are now also common throughout the CT market, such as the Spiral scan, which Siemens brought to the market in 1990.

Somatom, the First Whole-Body CT Scanner
Computed tomography quickly became the preferred method of examining the brain.
This led many clinicians to call for the development of CT images of the whole body free of superimpositions.
In 1977, Siemens unveiled Somatom, its whole-body scanner, which produced images of the kidneys, the abdominal aorta, and details of the muscular system, for example, with unprecedented contrast.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Here, the detector continually rotates around the table, which moves steadily through the gantry.

The measurement system therefore moves on a spiral track around the patient.

Somatom Plus – wireless Computer Tomography
Somatom Plus's high-performance Dura X-ray tube captured about 100 individual images every 12 seconds. As well as being the fastest CT scanner of its era, it was the first to have a wireless power supply to the tube, thanks to slip-ring technology, meaning that it was no longer necessary to stop the detector system during operation. This laid the foundation for spiral CT.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
This meant that Somatom Plus-S, which could precisely map entire regions of the body in one pass, was the first volume spiral scanner on the market.

Compact and User-Friendly: Somatom AR
Somatom AR needed half the space, used much less energy and cost just one third as much as its predecessors. Its graphical user interface, which was mouse operated, meant that there was no longer any need for cryptic commands such as "TOMO/2/20/120/50".
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
In 1998, the multislice technology in Somatom Volume Zoom made non-invasive vascular imaging possible in routine procedures for the first time.

This played a key role in the breakthrough of heart CT.



Toward the future of CT with Somatom Force

"In the coming decades, we will continue to work on setting new standards and making our technologies available to more and more people," promises Märzendorfer.

Radiation Dose Reduced with a Solid-State Detector.
Using the ceramic compound "Ultra Fast Ceramics" (UFC), Siemens was able to cut the radiation dosage by up to 30 percent.
UFC was a lot more efficient than the xenon gas previously used in detectors, with a much shorter afterglow time.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
The current, high-end Somatom Force system is already pointing to the future of computed tomography.

It enables particularly gentle examinations since up to less than half the X-ray and contrast medium dose is required compared with existing premium systems.

Multislice CT Somatom Volume Zoom
Somatom Volume Zoom, with its multislice technology, made the routine use of non-invasive vascular imaging possible for the first time.
This was an important step in the development of heart CT.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
At up to 74 cm per second, the scan speed of Somatom Force is so high that patients no longer have to hold their breath or stay still.

This means that Siemens Healthcare has overcome significant challenges in CT, opening up access to state-of-the-art medical imaging to even the most sensitive patient groups such as small children or people with renal failure.

Straton – a Rotating X-ray Tube
Straton was a rotating envelope tube where not just the anode but the whole vacuum tube rotated.
With better cooling, smaller anodes, higher rotation speeds, and, eventually, dual source technology became possible.
Cooling and waiting times between scans were a thing of the past.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
"This CT enables earlier and more precise disease diagnosis. It is the ideal basis on which to make individual therapy decisions for each patient,"
emphasizes Märzendorfer.

Somatom Definition with Dual Source Technology.
Siemens unveiled the world's first Dual Source CT scanner, the Somatom Definition.
The device incorporated two X-ray tubes and two detectors, making it possible to capture images faster than ever before – with a reduction in radiation dose of up to 50 percent compared with previous systems.
Cardiac CT became routine and the path was clear for dual energy imaging, which can distinguish between tissue, bone, and implants in the body.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
A year after its market launch, the computer tomograph developed and produced at the division's headquarters in Forchheim, Upper Franconia, Germany, is already used in a number of leading university hospitals across the globe.

Radiation Doses Cut Massively with Somatom Definition Flash.
Previously, a radiation dose of between 8 and 30 millisieverts (mSv) was needed for a heart scan.
The Somatom Definition Flash brought this down to less than 1 mSv, well below the average natural radiation exposure of 2.4 mSv per annum.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
This has allowed Siemens Healthcare to strengthen its position as market leader in the high-end CT sector.

The system is safeguarded by more than 90 new patents, including the Vectron X-ray tubes, which have helped reduce the contrast medium for thorax examinations from 90–110 milliliter to 25–35 milliliter.

Algorithms Used to Reduce Radiation Dose Further.
"Iterative reconstruction in image space" (Iris) was an optimized image computation process that served to lower the radiation dosage by up to 60%. Iris paved the way for other algorithms designed to bring down the dose – Safire und Admire.
Copyright: Universitätsklinikum München-Großhadern, München, Deutschland.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Siemens CT therefore uses over 50% less than other premium systems, making it a viable option for older people and patients with renal failure such as diabetics, for whom contrast medium exerts too much of a strain.


Technology that benefits the patient

Patients stand to benefit from the fact that 4D imaging on Somatom Force requires less than half the X-ray dose than was previously needed to characterize tumors and to detect whether a cancer treatment is effective at an early stage.

From Analog to Digital with No Loss of Data: Stellar Detector.
With the Stellar detector, all the components needed for signal conversion were housed in a single chip.
As signal paths were shorter, the amount of electronic noise was reduced by 30 percent.
The analog signals from the photodiodes could now be converted into digital signals with virtually no interference.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
This procedure can now be routinely implemented, and physicians can make faster and better-founded decisions about the best tumor therapy for an individual.

Technical innovations play a key role here, too: The highly sensitive Stellar Infinity detector and Adaptive Dose Shield for blocking unnecessary radiation.

Pushing the Boundaries of the Possible
The two Stellar Infinity detectors and the Vectron X-ray tube in the Somatom Force need less than a second to capture the entire upper body.
With a gantry weighing 1.6 tons that rotates around the patient four times a second, the world's most powerful scanner takes technical possibilities to the limit.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
With the help of the Turbo Flash Scan and two spectral filters for optimizing the X-ray spectrum, the X-ray dose can also be significantly reduced: Clinical studies have shown that scanning the rib cage for lung nodules using Somatom Force CT can be performed with the very low effective dose of 0.06 millisievert.

Image of the carotid arteries produced with cinematic rendering.
The new imaging software platform Syngo.via Frontier allows researchers and developers to access the prototypes for new applications.
These include cinematic rendering, an application enabling the realistic depiction of volume datasets.
Copyright: Radiologie im Israelitischen Krankenhaus, Hamburg, Germany.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
This radiation dose for a CT scan is no higher than that for a conventional X-ray thorax examination.

This means that it could potentially be used for early detection examinations, for example in cases of suspected lung cancer or heart disease.

Blood in the left ventricle and coronary arteries, image produced with cinematic rendering.
The new imaging software platform Syngo.via Frontier allows researchers and developers to access the prototypes for new applications. These include cinematic rendering, an application enabling the realistic depiction of volume datasets.
Copyright: Hospital do Coração, São Paulo, Brasilien.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
The scan speed of Somatom Force has also significantly advanced innovation: Thanks to the fastest acquisition speed on the CT market (74 cm per second), thorax examinations can now be performed in under a second.

Fractures of the thoracic vertebrae and ribs, image produced with cinematic rendering.
The new imaging software platform Syngo.via Frontier allows researchers and developers to access the prototypes for new applications.
These include cinematic rendering, an application enabling the realistic depiction of volume datasets.
Copyright: Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Cardiac patients therefore no longer have to take beta-blockers to slow their pulse to prevent motion artifacts.

This speed also pays off when examining patients who are unable to hold their breath for several seconds – critically ill patients, trauma cases, or babies, for example.

Large aneurysm and blood vessels in the brain, image produced with cinematic rendering.
The new imaging software platform Syngo.via Frontier allows researchers and developers to access the prototypes for new applications.
These include cinematic rendering, an application enabling the realistic depiction of volume datasets.
Copyright: Radiologie im Israelitschen Krankenhaus, Hamburg, Germany.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
With Somatom Force, breath-holding is no longer necessary in almost all radiology cases.

The products/features
(here mentioned) are not commercially available in all countries.

Thyroid and bones in the head and neck region, image produced with cinematic rendering.
The new imaging software platform Syngo.via Frontier allows researchers and developers to access the prototypes for new applications.
These include cinematic rendering, an application enabling the realistic depiction of volume datasets.
Copyright: Radiologie im Israelitschen Krankenhaus, Hamburg, Germany.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
Due to regulatory reasons their future availability cannot be guaranteed.

Further details are available from the local Siemens organizations.


Musculoskeletal structures in the head and neck region, image produced with cinematic rendering.
The new imaging software platform Syngo.via Frontier allows researchers and developers to access the prototypes for new applications.
These include cinematic rendering, an application enabling the realistic depiction of volume datasets.
Copyright: Radiologie im Israelitschen Krankenhaus, Hamburg, Germany.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 

Siemens AG


Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years.

The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization.

For over 160 years, the Siemens name has stood for technical competence, innovation, quality, reliability, and an international perspective.
By concentrating corporate activities in the four sectors of Energy, Healthcare, Industry and Infrastructure and Cities, we have set a well-timed course for achieving profitable and sustainable growth.

Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of combined cycle turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry.

The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT.  

Siemens Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in the “Olympiahalle” Munich.
Photo courtesy of Siemens
 
In fiscal 2014, which ended on September 30, 2014, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €71.9 billion and net income of €5.5 billion.

At the end of September 2014, the company had around 343,000 employees worldwide on a continuing basis.

Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com .


Contact

Mr. Ulrich Künzel
Healthcare
Siemens AG
Henkestr. 127
91052 Erlangen
Germany
Tel: +49 (9131) 84-3473
Ulrich.Kuenzel@siemens.com  


Source: Siemens AG

http://www.siemens.com/press/en/index.php  



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