Designed to Meet New Demands in CT Scanning

VISIONS spoke to Dr. Mark Kon, Consultant Radiologist at the Bradford Royal Infirmary, UK, about the experiences with the Aquilion Prime SP.

As the demand for CT scans continues to increase in health-care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, every ele-ment of the functionality and efficiency of CT systems is under scrutiny. VISIONS spoke to Dr. Mark Kon, Consultant Radiologist at the Bradford Royal Infirmary, UK, to find out how the performance of Canon Medical’s Aquilion Prime SP is meeting the needs of the hospital.
The Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) is a large teaching hospital in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Operated by the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital is affiliated with the Leeds School of Medicine (Leeds University). The Radiology Department at the BRI installed a Canon Medical Aquilion Prime SP CT scanner in 2020. While Dr. Mark Kon has used Canon Medical equipment for a long time, he explains how the Aquilion Prime SP in particular excels in meeting the increased demand for CT scanning in the department.
From left to right: Habiba Islam, Dr. Mark Kon, Fiona Leung Bradford Royal Infirmary, UK.
Dr. Mark Kon.

Optimizing workflow

There is a great deal of focus on workflow in CT scanning as demands increase. Features that enable the CT scanner to be as intuitive as possible, such as patient auto positioning and the Tech Assist Lateral Slide of the Aquilion Prime SP, can improve workflow significantly.

“Most of the time of a CT appointment is taken up by moving the patient rather than scanning,” said Dr. Kon.
”For this reason, facilities like low table height for mobile patients and the ability to correct table position remotely to speed up the process of accurate CT scanning. Also, displaying the patient’s demographics on the scanner gantry monitor ensures rapid and assured checking of patient details.”
Dr. Mark Kon.

Enhanced image quality

With many years of experience in using Canon Medical systems, Dr. Kon has seen image quality improve over the iterations of scanners that he has worked with.

“In uroradiology in particular, patients with stone diseases often have recurrences, so comparison with previous imaging is essential. From this, you can really notice the increase in Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) with successive technology. The jump to Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) with the Aquilion Prime SP has brought a massive rise in this, in particular,” he remarked. “Objectively, we have measured Standard Deviation (SD) as a representation of objective noise in images, before and after the introduction of AiCE, and can confirm that noise has been reduced from SD 15 to SD 10 in the bladder in CTs of kidneys, ureter and bladder (KUBs).”

A whole new approach

AiCE Deep Learning Reconstruction (DLR) offers a whole new approach in CT reconstruction technology that brings significant benefits in speed of image reconstruction, data and time savings, and increased accuracy.

“Image quality using AiCE is so obviously improved that we have had no issues at all implementing it in all our protocols,:” said Dr. Kon. “Images are available within only a few minutes, so we are able to report all in-patient scans during the same session. The only exception is trauma scans, in which we try to give a preliminary report from the scanning console while the patient is still on the table. Otherwise, all scans are processed with AiCE, including cardiac CT scans.”

“The noise reduction achieved with DLR changed our requirements of image data storage, saving space in the hospital’s PACS system,” he remarked.

“Our practice is to send 1mm axial images to our PACS system. Previously, we required our radiologists to read 3mm images to reduce noise. Noise in 1mm images from AiCE is so low that we now view these images directly at 1mm,” he added. “We can also reformat sagittal and coronal images from the same dataset. For non-specialist lung imaging, we will not have to make complete lung reconstructions, saving even more space in the PACS system.”

And the team can work with added accuracy due to the quality of imaging and reconstruction with the Aquilion Prime SP and AiCE.

“ The ease of in-room scanning ensures that you are exactly where you want to be and increase your yield.”

Dr. Mark Kon.

Streamlining Interventional Radiology procedures

The features of a new CT Fluoroscopy panel for the Aquilion Prime SP, enable Dr. Kon and his team to focus on the clinical aspects of their Interventional work even more.

“For a lung biopsy, I would usually stay in the room with the patient, as I believe it is important to minimize the time with the needle in the lung and to be near the patient in the event of complications, such as pneumothorax or hemoptysis. With the new Fluoroscopy panel, we have a combination of features that give us the ability go to target with one select button and one drive button. This process is precise and correct first time, every time. We can bring the patient out to manipulate the biopsy just as fast,” explained Dr. Kon. ”In a teaching hospital situation, our trainees with less experience of table control find this functionality most useful, as they are able to concentrate on the clinical aspects of the biopsy rather than the mechanical table movement.”

High image quality supports high quality and better efficiency in Interventional work. “When a needle is close to an important structure, high quality and ease of imaging is essential, so that you are not tempted to cut corners and assume it is ‘good enough’,” remarked Dr. Kon.” The ease of in-room scanning ensures that you are exactly where you want to be and increase your yield.”

The design of the new panel enables it to integrate within the scan room and enhances ergonomics.
“Dragging cables on the floor is no longer a limitation as the unit attaches directly to the table and it simply sits on the shelf when not in use. The touch screen works well with its sterile cover” he added. “Faster, more precise procedures mean that biopsies are more comfortable for the patient, with greater confidence in a smooth procedure and more likely to achieve a diagnostic result.”

Meeting increased demands

Today’s busy clinical environment is only set to continue with increasing demand on CT capabilities and capacities, and requires a reliable scanner that helps significantly in optimizing workflow.

“The Aquilion Prime SP is a robust CT scanner for any radiology department performing large numbers of routine scans daily,” concluded Dr. Kon. //

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Bradford Royal Infirmary, UK.