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Which Cath Angio Lab Image Intensifier Size Do I Need?

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Over the years, we've had the opportunity to help people from hospitals and clinics across the world choose their interventional radiology equipment. During this process, one of the questions we hear every time is: Which image intensifier (II) size do I need? 

This is a great question and, to get the answer that will be a great fit for your facility, you'll need three other pieces of information. We'll break these down below so that you can be more prepared to get the equipment you need to best serve your patients.

Your Specialty

Common II sizes for interventional equipment are 9", 12", 15", and 16". Probably the most important factor in choosing is knowing what you'll be using it for. Bigger II sizes allow you to see more anatomy. Smaller II sizes have greater zoom capabilities. Will your specialty benefit more from greater coverage or from being able to see more minute detail?

Magnification Modes

Another factor to consider is the magnification modes of a given II size. 15 and 16" IIs offer 4 magnification (mag) modes while 12 and 9" iis generally offer three. As you increase your mag mode, you zoom in further and are more able to see delicate details. At the same time, you reduce your overall field of view (FOV).


(image source: www.upstate.edu)

• Mag modes on a 16" II: 16/12/9/6

• Mag modes on a 15" II: 15/12/9/6 (15, 9, and 6 pictured above)

• Mag modes on a 12" II: 12/9/6

• Mag modes on a 9" II: 9/6/4.5

This means that the smallest II, the 9", is capable of the highest degree of magnification, but trades it for the smallest FOV.

Your Budget

Interventional labs present a somewhat unique cost scenario among imaging modalities. Where one might logically assume that the system with the largest II (the 15"/16" category) would cost the most, it is actually systems with 12" IIs that hold their value the best. This is because a cath lab with a 12" II offers some flexibility in terms of how it can be used.

While it doesn't cover as much anatomy as a 15 or 16" II, a 12" II can be used for many of the same applications as the larger systems. At the same time, while it can't magnify as closely as a 9" II, it magnifies closely enough to be eligible for much of the same work as the smaller system.

The Takeaway

Depending on which types of procedures you do (or plan to do) most often and what your budget can handle, there's an II size that will work better than the others in your facility. Ultimately, only you can make the decision, but here are a few general recommendations:

• Choose a 15/16" II for general angiography, peripheral vascular, and peripheral run-offs.

• Choose a 12" II for vascular, neurovascular, and limited cardiac and angiography procedures.

• Choose a 9" II for cardiac, general surgery, and pacemaker placements.