Siemens Healthcare has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the SOMATOM ® Force computed tomography (CT) system – the next generation in dual source CT. With two sets of Siemens’ most innovative X-ray tubes and detectors, the SOMATOM Force extends advanced imaging to all patients, including some of the most challenging: young children, patients with renal insufficiency, and patients who are unable to hold their breath. The SOMATOM Force overcomes imaging limitations, making low-dose CT available for an even broader array of patients. With the unparalleled power reserves of its revolutionary Vectron tube, the SOMATOM Force delivers routine adult imaging with fast, low-dose protocols. “The SOMATOM Force represents a dramatic leap forward in CT technology, helping healthcare organizations improve diagnostic confidence with access to an imaging tool that maximizes the patient experience for many more people in their communities,” said Murat Gungor, vice president, CT and radiation oncology business management, Siemens Healthcare. Kidney-friendly scanning For years, CT imagers have been investigating the usage of different energy levels (kilovoltage or “kV”) to elicit an enhanced contrast-to-noise ratio and lower patient radiation dose. Lowering kV levels also can potentially increase enhancement of contrast medium, so less contrast may be necessary. This practice had limitations because earlier generations of CT scanners could not sufficiently power imaging at very low kV levels except when imaging children or very small adults. In early investigational research with the SOMATOM Force, radiologists have observed low, previously unachievable kV imaging results that are enabled by the Force’s power reserves.¹ “The massively enhanced tube power of the SOMATOM Force enables imaging that can be acquired at very low kV settings – and thus at a lower level of radiation dose – routinely in adult patients and even those of a larger body type. In the past, these low kV settings would have resulted in noisy, nondiagnostic studies,” said Joseph Schoepf, MD, director of CT research and development and professor of radiology and cardiology at Medical University of South Carolina.