Over the last few years the digital trend in X-ray imaging has been working its way into the C-arm world. All the major manufacturers have a flat detector (FD) C-arm either on the market or in development. We asked one of our resident C-arm experts for a briefing on what this technology will mean for C-arm users and where it's at in the course of its emergence. Below are his answers to our top flat detector C-arm questions.
What benefits does an FD C-arm offer users?
"FD C-arm users will see a lot of the same benefits that FD cath/angio lab users have seen. Higher resolution, no loss of image gain over time, stronger subtraction capabilities, and magnification without loss of scale are all on the table with this technology."
Which specialties will want to consider an FD C-arm?
"The benefits of an FD system would be helpful to any specialty but, given the up-front cost of technology this new, it would probably be 'overkill' for specialties like pain management, orthopedics, and podiatry. Where FD C-arms really shine are complex vascular studies."
Which Manufacturers Have FD Models Available?
"Right now the Philips Veradius and the Ziehm Vision FD are the only models available everywhere from the major players. Siemens has introduced the Cios Alpha, but its availability varies from country to country."
How long will it be before used FD C-arms are available?
"We'll likely see a few crop up from situations like bankruptcies or facility closings, but broader availability is still several years away."
If you're really interested in owning an FD C-arm, you'll have to either pay big money now, or wait several more years for used units to become available.
The good news is, there are a number of image intensifier-based C-arm systems that can offer you excellent image quality at an affordable price while you wait. Contact us to learn more about which C-arms are available now.