The university is one of the first places in the world to install the new equipment – which has the potential to revolutionise computed tomography imaging. The CT scanner is installed at the Medical Imaging Centre and it is equipped with a special photon-counting detector which enables early and more precise diagnostics of tumours, lung diseases and coronary heart disease. Besides providing higher resolution images, the new CT scanner reduces radiation dose by nearly half – thanks to the special photon-counting technology.
The Siemens Healthineers Naeotom Alpha CT scanner has a unique photon-counting technology which provides a higher spatial resolution than traditional CTs. Even abnormal changes in their early stage such as small tumours and arteriosclerotic coronary plaques as small as a few millimetres can be identified by using this new technology.
“It is a real engineering breakthrough,” said Dr. Pál Maurovich Horvat, Director of the Medical Imaging Center. He emphasized that apart from the usual grayscale images, the Naeotom Alpha is also able to provide color images with tissue specific information. “It is not only the field of oncology and cardiology which can benefit from the precise diagnostics provided by the Alpha, but it can revolutionize the CT imaging of the lungs, head and joints. In addition to providing a spatial resolution of 0.2mm, it is also able to quantify the composition of abnormalities which allows a more reliable differentiation between benign and malignant tumors,” added Dr. Pál Maurovich Horvat.
“With traditional CTs it is often challenging to assess the degree of luminal narrowing of coronary artery segments with extensive calcification, however with the photon-counting technology we are able to look „behind” the calcified plaques, therefore the new CT may have a significant role in coronary heart disease diagnostics” – said Prof. Dr. Béla Merkely, rector and cardiologist. He added that the cutting-edge technology of the Naeotom Alpha scanner can assist doctors to achieve world-class results not only in patient care but also in research.
“This new innovative technology is the result of 15 years of research and development,” said Mrs. Rita Vincze Oroszné, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Ltd. “Our engineers had to come up with a solution which can meet the special imaging requirements of all three fields: cardiology, oncology and pulmonology. Semmelweis University and Siemens started a close cooperation two years ago in research and development and with the new equipment there will be more possibilities to tighten this relationship in the future.”
The Naeotom Alpha is a world-leading innovation, and it was installed at the Semmelweis University on 10 January 2022 in the presence of Dr. László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology. The university invested one billion Hungarian forint in the new CT scanner, and it arrived at the Medical Imaging Center of Semmelweis University at the same time as it was unveiled at the Radiology Society of North America Annual Meeting in Chicago, in December 2021. Oxford University (UK) has also taken delivery of a Naeotom Alpha CT scanner and will conduct joint research projects with Semmelweis University.
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Video credit: Tamara Bartincki, Dávid Kresalek, Sebestyén Lukács M., Bálint Major, Dávid Réthly – Semmelweis University
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Photo credit: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University