Siemens announced the market clearance of four new applications for the SOMATOM Definition Dual Source at ECR 2008 in Vienna. The new applications have been designed to simplify the diagnosis of diseases in the heart, brain, lungs and extremity joints.

With a dual X-ray tube and dual-detector design, the SOMATOM Definition DS provides images at twice the temporal resolution, twice the speed and twice the power of single-source systems. The two X-ray tubes can be operated simultaneously at different voltage levels (dual energy or DE) in a single scan, generating two data records with different patient information to display tissue and fluids, facilitating the distinction of vessels, bones and soft tissue. It acquires images of outstanding quality and detail, even imaging hearts with irregular beats at only half the dose of previous Siemens systems.

One of the new dual energy applications for the SOMATOM Definition DS is syngo® DE Heart PBV (Perfusion Blood Volume), which provides colour-marking of non-perfused parts of the myocardium during cardiology examinations. This application enables an isolated display of the heart, for example, without thorax structures. For the first time, DECT can detect narrowed blood vessels as well as the location and extent of the resulting reduced perfusion in a single scan.

With syngo DE Gout, CT can now also be used for gout detection. The new dual energy application assists the physician in clearly identifying and monitoring uric acid crystals for precise diagnosis and efficient treatment planning.

syngo DE Lung Vessels provides a whole series of applications to assist the physician in CT examinations of patients with suspected pulmonary embolism. The new applications enable the detection of non-perfused blood vessels and tissue of the lungs through colour-marking. The "lung isolation" application isolates the entire organ to allow the assessment of the perfusion situation without obstructing other organs.

syngo DE Brain Haemorrhage assists in the distinction between new and old haemorrhages in the event of cerebral bleeding without the need for two separate scans. The two energy levels of the X-ray tubes are used to fade out the contrast medium (CM), eliminating the need for a non-contrast medium enhanced examination, reducing dose to the patient.

"The SOMATOM Definition DS already offers enhanced resolution, speed and power. These new diagnostic applications add a further dimension to assist with disease prevention and treatment," said Russell Lodge, CT Product Manager at Siemens. "Contrast in the image is not merely limited to X-ray attenuation differences, but includes elements of functional and tissue characterisation. This additional information will help to improve diagnostic outcomes and simplify workflows."

The four new dual energy applications presented by Siemens at the ECR 2008 supplement the six existing CT applications with dual energy features:

- syngo DE Direct Angio - distinguishes bone and vessel structures, particularly if the vessels are located directly next to the bone.

- syngo DE Lung PBV - for perfusion assessment of the lung tissue.

- syngo DE Musculoskeletal - displays ligaments and tendons.

- syngo DE Calculi Characterisation - automatically distinguishes the biochemical composition of kidney stones.

- syngo DE Hardplaque - displays calcification in the body and determines vessel status.

- syngo DE Virtual Unenhanced - for subtraction of contrast medium in abdominal scans.

Siemens Healthcare is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Healthcare is the first fully integrated diagnostics company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy and healthcare information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services. Siemens Healthcare delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care - from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. The company employs more than 49,000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. In the fiscal year 2007 (Sept. 30), Siemens Healthcare reported sales of €9.85 billion, orders of €10.27 billion and group profit of €1.32 billion.

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