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University of Munich Hospital is first to use new Siemens robot-controlled angiography system

Siemens Healthcare Deutschland : 13 December, 2007  (New Product)
The University of Munich Hospital has been the first in the world to implement a newly developed Siemens angiography technology for patient care.
In addition, a new magnetic resonance tomography system also celebrated its European premiere.

The world’s first installed ‘Artis zeego’ is a robot-controlled angiography system that uses X-ray technology and contrast medium to spatially visualise blood vessels. A new rotation technology enables the physician to view vessels more easily from various sides, for example when evaluating tumours or vascular diseases. In addition, effective immediately patients can undergo improved examinations with the ‘Magnetom Verio’. It is the first magnetic resonance tomography system that combines an increased field strength of 3 Tesla, a particularly wide magnet opening, as well as Total imaging matrix technology (Tim), an image acquisition technology developed by Siemens.

The magnetic resonance tomography system delivers sharp images of internal organs, and can even display metabolic processes. The 70cm patient opening ensures that even claustrophobic or obese patients can be examined in a tomography system offering the latest in diagnostic capabilities.

“Technical innovations in medicine are not an end in and of themselves. When we introduce new devices into our institutes, we want to improve patient diagnosis and treatment, replace stressful and possibly risky procedures with safe, non-stressful methods, and contribute to cost reductions,” explained Prof Dr Dr h c Maximilian Reiser, director of the Institute for Clinical Radiology at the University Hospital in Grosshadern.

“The use of industrial robotics technology in angiography systems is completely new in medical engineering. As a result, for the first time physicians are able to view vessels and diseases from all sides with unmatched precision. At the same time, our system significantly increases image quality and simplifies the physician’s work during intervention,” explained Dr Norbert Gaus, the head of Angiography, Fluoroscopy, and Radiography Systems at Siemens Medical Solutions.

For the first time, Siemens has combined a field strength of 3 Tesla with a 70 centimetre-wide magnet opening.

“This is an enormous improvement for patients, especially those who found the examination unpleasant due to the relatively constricted space,” stressed Walter Marzendorfer, the head of Magnetic Resonance at Siemens Medical Solutions. “In addition, we have the shortest 3 Tesla system available on the market. For this reason, the patient’s head can remain outside the system during many examinations. At the same time, we offer the highest system performance without compromising image quality.”

Minimally invasive, radiological treatment procedures are playing an increasingly important role in the therapy approach for tumours and vascular diseases. While angiography was used predominantly for diagnostic purposes until a few years ago, it is now used primarily in therapeutic procedures, such as balloon dilation of vascular stenoses, the implantation of stents in peripheral vessels, and for aortic stents.

The Institute for Clinical Radiology at the University of Munich Hospital is the first institution in Germany to use Siemens’ new ‘Artis zeego’ angiography system for patient care. The system comprises a powerful industrial robot and a specially-developed C-arm, providing the treating physician with almost unlimited freedom of movement.

The flat detector rotates about the patient so quickly and precisely that it produces images similar to CT, covering more anatomy than was previously possible with angiography systems. This increases the diagnostic certainty for complex interventions such as selective radiotherapy, which spares healthy tissue while reducing tumours in size. Artis zeego also helps accelerate workflows. It offers highly developed imaging in the OR when it is needed, and requires little space when not in use.

Magnetic resonance tomography has been recognised as a high-performance method for examining the brain, bones, joints, spine, and abdomen. To date, most systems use a 1.5 Tesla field strength. However, higher magnetic field strengths such as 3 Tesla simplify diagnoses by providing much sharper images of organs, and enable conclusions to be made regarding metabolic changes when used in conjunction with spectroscopy.

The result is new and critical benefits in diagnosing malignant tumours: the local extent of tumours can be determined precisely, and the spread of metastases in the body can be tracked using whole body imaging. Additionally, the patient’s response to treatment can be examined.

The Institute for Clinical Radiology is also taking on a leadership role in Germany in the area of magnetic resonance tomography. It is the first to use the new ‘Magnetom Verio’ magnetic resonance tomography system from Siemens.

The combination of 3 Tesla, a 70cm opening, and Tim (Total imaging matrix) delivers image sharpness and diagnostic quality along with outstanding patient comfort. The system’s design simplifies diagnostics, for example with claustrophobic and obese patients, even to the extent of making these examinations possible for the first time. Tim technology simplifies workflow and increases patient throughput.
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