Guidelines for Choosing Your Next C-arm for Mobile Imaging
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5 factors to consider.
With the number of C-arms on the market today, it’s important for you to understand how they differ and which features are most beneficial. Exceptional image quality, the ability to control dose (ALARA), detector size, the range of motion, the footprint of the equipment – all are key features to be considered for optimal performance.
1. What is the relationship between C-arm generator power and image sharpness?
C-arms vary greatly in the power ratings of their generators. There are a variety of C-arm generators that provide differing ranges of kVp and mA. Many will produce a sharp image under some conditions. But demanding intraoperative fluoroscopic exams like orthopaedic, trauma, and/or invasive vascular exams require imaging that can provide superb image quality and sharpness in order to be beneficial to the case. A generator that can provide enough power and technique to help create a sharper, less grainy image on the image receptor is essential. The Ziehm Vision RFD C-arm comes with one of the most powerful Monoblock generators available (25kW).
2. What is the relationship between patient obesity and C-arm power requirements?
Imaging large patients can be challenging; images often present as grainy or low quality if the anatomy is not penetrated adequately. Generating excellent images on a hypersthenic body habitus commonly requires higher generator power to achieve the image quality needed. The Ziehm Vision RFD C-arm’s powerful Monoblock 25kW generator is fully capable of imaging obese patients.
3. How is it possible to control overheating during a long surgical procedure?
In cases where fluoroscopic times are extremely lengthy, overheating can occur with some C-arms, causing delays in the exam. When considering your next C-arm, ask how (if) overheating is controlled. The Ziehm Vision RFD C-arm has a sophisticated Advanced Active Cooling system that avoids generator overheating and enables surgeons to perform longer procedures.
4. ALARA and C-arms.
There are many benefits to a flat-panel detector over an image intensifier, one of them being lower dose. (Today there are more flat-panel detectors purchased on C-arms than image intensifiers.) As in all X-ray and fluoroscopy equipment, the required dose is a function of the type of images, the number of views, the individual patient’s characteristics, the type of surgery, the surgeon’s preferences, the length of the operation, and the technique employed. The Ziehm Vision RFD C-arm offers the technologist control that comes from an advanced CMOS flat-panel detector (available in two sizes), coupled with a high-powered generator. The Ziehm also has many other features that provide tools for minimizing dose, including pulse reduction, automatic dose/image optimization, a removable grid, and a low-dose mode for dose-sensitive procedures.
5. Are all mobile C-arms easy to move around?
Every C-arm is different, and some are easier to move around than others; some take up a larger footprint than others. Many OR suites have limited space and do not have ample room for large pieces of equipment. Compact housing with an adequate C-arm depth will be crucial in maneuvering the unit in and out, over the region of interest, or moving the unit to another room when the exam is complete.
Other features to consider that will affect maneuverability and aid in ease of use are the degrees of rotation offered by the arm and intuitive locks. The Ziehm Vision RFD C-arm is easy to move around and has a small footprint, but don’t take our word for it—request a demo if you’re interested, and your Carestream team would be happy to let you (and your surgeons) judge for yourself!
The Ziehm Vision RFD C-arm is available from Carestream only in the US and Canada. David Chan is Vice President, Americas X-Ray Solutions at Carestream Health. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, and is a Radiographer with over 25 years of experience. He has deep experience in sales and product development in the field of medical imaging.