Biplane X-ray

The installation of Canada’s first research-dedicated digital flat-panel biplane X-ray system, the Innova 2121IQ from GE Healthcare, was completed in January 2008. This device is the first GE flat panel biplane unit to be installed in Canada. The imaging detector technology in this $4M-machine provides higher-resolution images than previous-generation image-intensifier systems. The addition of a second imaging plane (the majority of interventional X-ray systems have a single plane) allows the acquisition of medical images simultaneously from two different directions, helping the physician to localize disease and guide minimally invasive treatments.

Clinician-scientists are using this technology to treat patients with medical conditions whose treatment will benefit from high-resolution real-time X-ray images that provide the guidance of minimally invasive interventional devices in combination with MRI images that reveal soft tissue anatomy and function. The initial clinical applications include:

  1. the treatment of chronic total occlusions which occur in 30% of patients with artery disease and are often not treated due to limitations of interventional devices and techniques; and
  2. the treatment of cardiac conduction abnormalities using ablation therapies which can benefit from MRI revealing the extent of the treated regions.

Imaging physicists are using this system to investigate methods to reduce the X-ray exposure of patients and operators. They also use the system to conduct experiments to test new methods to improve the diagnostic quality of X-ray images.

A Canada Foundation for Innovation grant, matched by funding from the Ontario Innovation Trust, enabled SRI’s purchase of this new equipment.