Siemens launches CT scanner with photon-counting tech

Siemens Ltd

Monday, 22 November, 2021

Siemens launches CT scanner with photon-counting tech

Siemens Healthineers has launched Naeotom Alpha, claimed to be the world’s first photon-counting CT scanner.

The system has currently been cleared for clinical use in the USA and Europe. Photon-counting technology enables improvements such as an increase in resolution and a reduction in radiation dose by up to 45% for ultra-high resolution (UHR) scans compared with conventional CT detectors with a UHR comb filer.

Photon-counting scans are said to contain more usable data as the technology directly detects each X-ray photon and its energy level instead of first converting it into visible light as with conventional CT imaging.

It offers new capabilities, such as scanning a patient’s lung at a high scan speed and getting high-resolution images with inherent spectral information — without the patient having to hold their breath.

This spectral information also helps to identify materials inside the body that can even be removed from the image should they obstruct an area of interest. This helps physicians to assess issues quickly and offers the possibility to start treatment early. Through the reduction in radiation dose, regular examinations such as lung cancer screenings using CT imaging can become routinely available for larger patient populations. And the high resolution reveals even small structures, taking clinical decision-making to a new level of confidence.

Work on photon-counting CT and this clinical vision started at Siemens Healthineers started more than 15 years ago, said Philipp Fischer, Head of Computed Tomography at Siemens Healthineers. With the launch, the company is taking a huge step in furthering patient care in a wide range of clinical domains, he said.

Image caption: Naeotom Alpha brings the combination of dual source and photon-counting detector: dual source temporal resolution allowing users to scan patients at any heart rate. The addition of the photon-counting detector allows for spectral information and high resolution. Bringing spectral imaging to the vessels enables users to peek behind curtains. Image credit: Centre Cardio-Thoracique, Monaco, MC.

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