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OEC 9900 Vascular vs. Ziehm Vision RFD: C-Arm Comparison

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OEC and Ziehm are both big names in the C-arm game. You can count on either manufacturer to bring a high-quality vascular C-arm product to market, but how do you choose between their products when you're ready to buy? That's where a side-by-side comparison (like the one below) comes in.

Keep reading to see the differences between the 9900 Vascular and the Vision RFD, as well as where each model shines for clinical use and overall ownership experience. We'll cover major components, pricing, and parts and service.

9900 Vascular, Vision RFD Compared

To be clear: both the OEC 9900 Vascular and the Ziehm Vision RFD are full-featured vascular C-arms that can serve the full gamut of vascular fluoroscopy needs. The determining factor(s) for potential buyers will come down to the finer points.

Tubes and Generators

Overall, the Vision RFD is a more powerful machine than the 9900. Its tube offers a much higher heat capacity at 5,000,000 HU versus the 9900's 300,000 HU. The Vision's generator can also produce a range of 40-120 kW at 100 kVp versus the 9900's peak of 15kW.

While both sets of system capabilities are sufficient for the majority of vascular C-arm procedures, the Vision RFD has the advantage when it comes to extended studies or consistently high patient volume.

Frame Rate

In terms of smooth cine runs, the 9900 has a slight advantage. OEC's vascular package offers a 30 frame per second rate, while Ziehm's rate is 25 frames per second.

Image Intensifier vs. Flat Detector

The biggest difference between these systems is that the OEC 9900 has an image intensifier (II), while the Vision RFD has a flat digital detector. A flat detector allows for higher image resolution and immediate image transfer from the detector to the workstation; no transfer necessary.

II technology has been around a long time. It's still reliable and still produces diagnostic-quality images. The image quality of a digital detector isn't dramatically better than that of a well-calibrated II, but it is better and the overall experience of capturing, transmitting, and storing images is quicker and more convenient.

Service Cost

These two models are in the same general price range for system purchase. The bigger cost difference will be noticed over time in the form of ongoing service and replacement parts. Service for an OEC 9900 will cost significantly less than service for a Ziehm Vision RFD.

The difference in service cost is partially due to the higher availability of OEC parts (a result of time and OEC's market share), but also to the price of detectors. While the digital detector is an amazing piece of technology that is revolutionizing the medical imaging field, it is also much more expensive to maintain, repair, and replace than an II.

The Takeaway

If these two systems come to your attention as you seek your next vascular C-arm, let us be clear: either one could be a good fit for your clinical needs. When it comes to budgetary concerns, however, we recommend the OEC 9900 Vascular for facilities with less wiggle room in their operating budget. For facilities that have the extra flexibility, we think the resolution and workflow benefits of the Vision RFD are valuable offsets to the added parts and service costs.

Which C-Arm Is Best for You