News | Press Releases

June 8, 2005


Aquilion 64 CFX CT Scanner Provides Fast, Easy Heart Exams, Minimizes Patients Exposure to Radiation

Tustin, Calif., June 8, 2005 – While patients take a single breath and hold it for just six-10 seconds, a new computed tomography (CT or “CAT”) scanner, the AquilionTM 64 CFX from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. can capture superior, precise images of their hearts.  These diagnostic images help their physicians check for suspected heart disease, often eliminating the need for invasive cardiac angiograms.

“Our new cardiac CT scanner offers doctors a new way to diagnose and treat patients with coronary heart disease,” said John Zimmer, vice president, Marketing, with Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS), a leader in diagnostic imaging systems.

The Aquilion 64 CFX delivers high-speed, high-resolution imaging, which allows physicians to capture precise images of any area of the body, including the rapidly moving heart and lungs.  The fast scanning capability allows important diagnostic information concerning the heart to be obtained within a single breath-hold.

“We are now equipped to deliver the latest, noninvasive cardiac exams to our patients,” explained Craig Sherman, M.D., of Manhattan Diagnostic Radiology, one of several hospitals and imaging centers in the U.S. with the new system. 

“The new scanner helps us detect signs of heart disease at its earliest stages by quickly and easily capturing images of the heart and coronary arteries that we can analyze for the presence of soft plaque or coronary blockage,” said Dr. Sherman.

“At the first sign of symptoms, we can quickly scan for blocked arteries to see if patients are at risk for a heart attack.”

About CT Scans
While computed tomography (CT) uses X-ray technology, it’s distinguished from other diagnostic imaging tools, such as  traditional X-ray and MRI, by its ability to display a combination of soft tissue (like muscles, tissue, organs and fat), bones and blood vessels all in a single image.  Clinicians perform CT scans to diagnose kidney, lung, liver, spine and blood diseases, cancer, tumors and cysts, as well as blood clots, hemorrhages and infections.

New, Advanced Cardiac CT Exam
The Aquilion 64 CFX is designed to offer physicians greater cardiac diagnostic capabilities while helping patients avoid more invasive medical procedures. 

During a cardiac CT exam, a patient lies on a table and is slowly moved into the scanner’s large donut-shaped opening, called the gantry.  Once inside, a series of X-ray beams create hundreds of cross-sectional pictures that represent slices of the patient’s body.  Seconds later, the system’s computer assembles the slices into three-dimensional images that are interpreted by a clinician.

The new system delivers unmatched clinical images of the heart with multislice imaging technology.  This technology captures up to 64 simultaneous anatomical slices of 0.5 mm – in many cases, the greater the number of slices, the better the resolution of the picture – in a single gantry rotation.

In addition, the system’s sensitivity and accuracy are enhanced with a process called isotropic scanning, which results in images that most accurately capture equal views and angles of internal structures.

By contrast, during an invasive, lengthier cardiac angiogram (also called cardiac catheterization), patients have a tiny, hollow tube called a catheter inserted into their body in the groin area and threaded through to their heart’s arteries in order to image the heart and blood vessels.  In addition, to gather more information on the heart, sometimes X-ray pictures (angiograms) of the heart and blood vessels are made by injecting a dye into the bloodstream. 

Additional Cardiac CT Benefits
Multislice imaging, because of its speed, also is especially useful for examining patients who are unable to hold their breath, like trauma victims, acutely ill patients and young children.  The system also accommodates the scanning of both larger and taller patients with the ability to expand its field-of-view to accommodate specific patient sizes and clinical needs.

In addition, the Aquilion 64 CFX provides high image quality while also minimizing the patient’s radiation exposure because the system’s detector is composed of a highly efficient ceramic material.  This material allows for the highest radiation dose efficiency available on the market. 

Availability, Cost
Toshiba America Medical Systems has installed its new Aquilion 64 CFX cardiac scanner in approximately 70 hospitals and imaging centers across the U.S., including: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; and Manhattan Diagnostic Radiology, New York.
Typical cardiac CT exams cost between $500 and $1,500, depending on geographic location and depth of analysis.

International Study
In November 2004, TAMS parent company, Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, announced a multicenter clinical trial to compare the clinical effectiveness of cardiac catheterization to 64-slice CT imaging as the new standard for diagnosing cardiovascular disease.  Study participants include Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the U.S., Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, Humbold University in Germany, INCOR Heart Institute of the School of Medicine Hospital in Brazil, and Iwate Medical University in Japan.  Initial results of the study will be released in 2006.

About Toshiba
With headquarters in Tustin, Calif., Toshiba America Medical Systems markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, and coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in the United States.  Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, an independent group company of Toshiba Corporation, is a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive
medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, MRI and information systems.  Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems.  Toshiba has approximately 162,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of $55 billion.

AquilionTM is a trademark of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation.