Two major diagnostic imaging specialists showcased paediatric imaging applications of their computed tomography (CT) scanners at the International Paediatric Radiology 2011 conference in London.
Toshiba presented the Aquilion ONE CT system with dose reduction capability and new paediatric software. Siemens presented the Somatom Definition Flash with new applications for dose reduction.
The new applications reflect the growing priority of limiting radiation exposure in children, given the potential for harmful effects on growing tissues and cumulative toxic effects in later life, and also of reducing sedation.
Toshiba’s Aquilion ONE features Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction (AIDR) software, which reduces ‘noise’ to increase image quality at a lower radiation dose. In addition, the scanner can capture a structure up to 16cm wide (such as the heart or brain) in one rotation, potentially eliminating the need for sedation.
The Aquilion ONE now features the dedicated paediatric software SUREExposure, which allows the clinician to set ‘child-sized’ examinations by entering the patient’s age or weight. A separate Paediatric Kit includes a number of child-friendly accessories and features, including:
• an audio-visual instructional tool to help children maintain breath holds
• child-sized table straps and cushion
• a small replica of the scanner to help the child understand the process.
“Toshiba understands the sensitivities underlying pediatric CT exams and has developed a full line of dose-reduction technologies customizable to a child's specifications,” said Joseph Cooper, Director, CT Business Unit. “Limiting radiation and sedation are crucial to these patients to ensure the safest possible exam that gives physicians accurate data to develop a treatment plan.”
The Somatom Definition Flash from Siemens Healthcare offers CT scans without sedation or breath holds, and with new applications for dose reduction. The need for sedation to prevent motion artefacts has made CT scanning of very young children more difficult, expensive and hazardous.
The Definition Flash, which uses two X-ray tubes and detectors, is the world’s fastest scanner. It has been used to scan infants in less than 1 second, at an X-ray dose of less than 1mSv. Using conventional CT technology, the procedure would take several seconds and require a dose 8–20 times higher.
The system has three new dose reduction applications:
• The Care kV function recommends the correct tube voltage for the patient’s anatomy and adapts all other parameters to optimise the image. This allows the dose to be reduced by up to 60%.
• The Care Child function reduces the voltage from its usual range of 80–140kV to only 70kV.
• The Safire (Sinogram Affirmed Iterative Reconstruction) function reduces the time required to reconstruct slice images, allowing a further 60% reduction in the radiation dose for children.
Somatom Definition Flash