Aquilion Precision™ is one of the world’s first ultra-high resolution computed tomography (UHR CT) systems.
Developed by Canon Medical Systems, the device captures and displays cross-section images of the body at a resolution of 50 line pairs per centimetre, allowing anatomies as small as 150 microns to be seen.
The system was launched in November 2017 and received 510(k) certification from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use in April 2018. The FDA classified the machine as a computed tomography (CT) X-ray system.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Precision UHR CT became the first to install the Aquilion Precision system in March 2019 to improve research capabilities in the field of liver and lung disease, as well as cardiovascular problems and bone loss.
The CT system has twice the resolution of standard conventional systems and will allow clinicians to detect diseases at earlier stages.
Aquilion Precision CT system design and features
The Aquilion Precision CT system comprises an advanced UHR detector system, a gantry, a couch and one of the smallest X-ray tubes in the industry. This comes alongside a data-processing console and display.
The system’s X-ray tubes have a focal size of 0.4mm by 0.5mm and 1,024 and 2,048 reconstruction matrices for improved resolution.
The UHR detector system has 1,792 channels with 160 rows that are 0.25mm thick. The couch is 47cm-wide with 17cm lateral table movement and a two-step slide mechanism. The gantry opening is 780mm in diameter and has a 30o tilt angle.
The system achieves 40mm scan length per rotation with a field of view of 320/500mm in diameter. Adaptive iterative dose reduction (AIDR) 3D and AIDR 3D Enhanced technologies are optimised for UHR CT acquisitions.
The system is driven by the artificial intelligence (AI) based Advanced Intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE), which helps capture sharp images rapidly.
AiCE technology details
AiCE is an advanced CT reconstruction technology based on the deep learning reconstruction (ADR) method. It is powered by a deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) featuring improved anatomical resolution, image homogeneity and rapid zero-impact reconstruction.
The DCNN learns from abundant high-quality images reconstructed with an advanced model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) algorithm. With increased and varied data, DCNN trains itself to provide a better final algorithm for improved image quality and processing speeds.
Benefits of Aquilion Precision CT system
The system’s UHR detector has improved dose efficiency in combination with high scintillator quantum efficiency, detector circuits and miniature digital acquisition system (DAS) components. It lowers exposure dose and improves spatial resolution for body parts under examination such as the abdomen, chest, heart and head.
The UHR X-ray tube can adapt to produce six different size focal spots to meet user requirements, including the size of the patient, matrix, clinical requirements and collimation.
The UHR couch positions the patient to ensure operator comfort and safety.
Other features of Aquilion Precision CT system
The Aquilion Precision CT system is equipped with a 9.8TB magnetic disk with raw data of more than 4,000 rotations.
It has a CPU memory of around 256GB and an image reconstruction time of up to 80 per second.
The system also comes with a 25GB Blu-ray disc (BD-RE) that features space for 10,000 images.