Siemens presents new product lines for angiography: The Artis Q and Artis Q.zen introduce
groundbreaking new X-ray tube and detector technology
Siemens Healthcare has developed a revolutionary new X-ray tube and detector technology
for its Artis Q and Artis Q.zen angiography systems to improve minimally invasive therapy
of diseases such as coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer.
In both the Artis Q and Artis Q.zen series, the new X-ray tube can help to identify small vessels up to 70 percent
better than conventional X-ray tube technology. The Artis Q.zen combines this innovative Xray
source with a new detector technology that supports interventional imaging in ultra-lowdose
ranges. This protects patients, doctors and medical staff, especially during longer
interventions. With these new developments, presented for the first time at the 98th
Congress of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Siemens Healthcare has
once again demonstrated its innovative strength and market competitiveness as part of its
Agenda 2013 global Sector initiative.
Two hardware components are crucial for angiographic image quality: the X-ray tube and the
detector. The X-rays emitted by the tube pass through the patient and hit the detector, which
converts them to image signals.
The second generation of Siemens’ flat emitter technology is key to the advances made in the Xray
tube for the Artis Q and Artis Q.zen product lines. Instead of the coiled filaments used in
conventional X-ray tubes, flat emitter technology is used exclusively in the new tube to emit
electrons. Flat emitters enable smaller quadratic focal spots that lead to improved visibility of small
vessels by up to 70 percent. Both physicians and patients benefit from a high level of detail in
imaging-supported interventional therapy. Neurologists can more precisely measure the blood
circulation in specific areas of the brain, for example; while stenoses in the heart’s smallest blood
vessels can be spotted in coronary angiography.
Examinations using ultra-low dose radiation
The Artis Q.zen series combines the X-ray tube with a detector technology that allows detection at
ultra-low radiation levels. Artis Q.zen imaging can use doses as low as half the usual levels
normally applied in angiography. This improvement is the result of several innovations, including a
fundamental change in detector technology. Until now, almost all detectors have been based on
amorphous silicon. The new crystalline silicon structure of the Artis Q.zen detector is more
homogenous, allowing for more effective amplification of the signal, greatly reducing the electronic
noise even at ultra-low doses.
The Artis Q.zen was developed to support better imaging quality at ultra-low-dose ranges, reducing
the radiation exposure of patients, physicians, and medical staff. This is especially important in
dose-sensitive application fields such as pediatric cardiology and radiology, or electrophysiology,
which is being used on more and more patients as rates of cardiac arrhythmia increase in an aging
Innovative applications for interventional imaging
In addition to the hardware innovations are several software applications that improve
interventional imaging. In coronary artery disease treatment, the applications allow precise
correlation of angiography images with ultrasound images taken by a probe inside the coronary
arteries. Stents are imaged in real-time during therapy, with motion stabilization created by
simultaneous correction for the heartbeat.
Other new 3D applications can image the smallest structures inside the head. Their high spatial
resolution is crucial for imaging intracranial stents or other miniscule structures, such as the
cochlea in the inner ear. Moving organs such as the lungs can be imaged in 3D in less than 3
seconds, reducing the number of motion artifacts and the amount of contrast agent required
Through visualization and measurement of blood volumes in the liver or other organs, Siemens’
functional 3D imaging provides a basis for planning therapies such as chemo-embolization of