Aquilion Precision (Courtesy of
Canon Medical)

First ultra high-res CT scan performed on US patient

April 17, 2019
by John R. Fischer, Staff Reporter
The first scan of a U.S. patient with an ultrahigh-resolution CT scanner has taken place at University of California, Davis Health through the use of Canon Medical’s Aquilion Precision.

With the system, the public institution now offers the greatest image resolution available in the country, and plans to investigate its diagnostic potential with Canon Medical.

The installation represents a foray into a new paradigm in CT imaging, according to Dominic Smith, senior director of CT, PET/CT, and MR business units at Canon Medical Systems USA. “Canon Medical is looking forward to working with UC Davis Health to explore new territories in diagnostic imaging, thanks to the technical and clinical value of this technology," he said in a statement.

Comprising all-new detector, tube, gantry and reconstruction technologies, the Aquilion Precision enables providers to visualize anatomical structures and conditions in greater detail, making it capable of resolving anatomy as small as 150 microns. It is also built with 0.25 mm thick detector channels for dose efficiency, and offers improvements in scintillator quantum efficiency, detector circuitry and other DAS components that altogether create a dose-efficient detector with UHR CT functions.

Resolution is sharpened by use of the industry’s smallest focal spot tube of 0.4 mm x 0.5 mm, and the industry’s first 1024 and 2048 reconstruction matrix for further increased resolution. 2048, however, is for research purposes only.

The performance of the scan follows a number of milestones achieved by UC Davis, including the FDA’s recent clearance of the uExplorer total-body PET scanner it built with United Imaging Healthcare.

“Once we install the scanner in mid-2019 we can serve our patients in the Sacramento region by giving them access to this new technology,” Simon Cherry, a professor of biomedical engineering and radiology, told HCB News at the time. “We had originally thought EXPLORER might primarily be used as a tool for research, but with FDA clearance EXPLORER can now have a much broader impact in our community and, we hope, across the nation.”

UC Davis Health and Canon Medical plan to celebrate the installation of the ultra hi-res CT scanner with a ribbon-cutting opening ceremony on Friday, April 26.