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Toshiba Announces F2 Edition of the Vantage MRI System; Advanced Software and Hardware Features Improve Acquisition Speed and Image Quality.

TUSTIN, Calif. -- Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. (TAMS) today announced availability of its F2 Edition/Version (V7) software and hardware for its Vantage family of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, designed to improve acquisition speed and enhance image quality and detail.

According to Dr. Carmen P. Arango, founder of Arango Imaging Center in El Paso, Texas, the benefits have been immediate. "Since upgrading to the Vantage MRI with V7 software, we have experienced significant increases in throughput. In addition, we've seen a dramatic improvement in image quality and are pleased with the upgrade to the Vantage."

The proprietary F2 Edition Vantage enables improved applications for advanced imaging procedures, including Body Vision, Contrast-Free Improved Angiography, Fresh Blood Imaging, Water Excitation and Whole Heart Imaging.

Currently, over 40 sites in the United States are running the V7 software, including Arango Imaging Center, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Center (SDMI) in Las Vegas and Long Beach Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

"The new software and hardware are indicative of Toshiba's continued commitment to innovation and to meeting its customers' evolving needs for advanced imaging technology," said Bob Giegerich, director, MR Business Unit, TAMS. "The Vantage continues to prove its clinical value with superior imaging performance and patient-focused features for more comfortable MRI exams."

Version 7 Features and Benefits

The Vantage F2 Edition upgrade for Toshiba's Vantage users is currently available for the existing Vantage AGV, MGV and XGV platforms and will be standard for all systems going forward as well as its works-in-progress ZGV platform. Included with the Vantage F2 Edition upgrade is a new Mach 7 processor and associated hardware to improve image reconstruction speeds from 410 images/second to 820 images/second at 256 x 256 matrix and full Field of View (FOV). Other key features include:

--Body Vision -- Diffusion weighted imaging optimized for use in the trunk and torso

--Contrast-Free Improved Angiography -- Specifically designed to optimize imaging of the lower extremities

--Water Excitation Technique (WET) -- A magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) technique using Time of Flight MRA for imaging the carotid arteries without the use of contrast

--Whole Heart Imaging -- A technique used to image the coronary arteries without contrast that uses Real Time Motion Correction to eliminate breath hold

Additional features include couch movement from the operator's console, auto-stitching software for seamless PACS integration, expanded sequence flexibility on field echo sequences, fully supported HIPAA functionality and additional patient positioning pads.

Unmatched Performance and Patient-Focused Features

The Vantage, Toshiba's 1.5-tesla (1.5T) high-field MRI system, features an ultra-short magnet at 140 cm with linear 30 mT/m (milliTesla per meter) gradient strength with a slew rate of 50 T/m/s (Tesla per meter per second) (AGV), 86 T/m/s (MGV) or 130 T/m/s (XGV). Despite the shorter magnet, the system still delivers the highest homogeneity of any magnet in the industry over the full 50 cm diameter spherical volume (DSV).

Offering the most advanced MRI applications available today, the Vantage features several optional packages including Advanced Cardiac Imaging, Freeze Frame Imaging, Fat Free Imaging and new Body Vision, a diffusion technique using Echo Planar Imaging.

With Toshiba's patented Pianissimo(TM) technology, which reduces acoustic noise by as much as 90 percent over other magnets, the Vantage dramatically reduces the most significant cause of patient discomfort with vacuum enveloped gradients and enables clinicians to better utilize all of the system's high-field MRI capabilities including SPEEDER parallel imaging for increased acquisition speed which reduces examination times. For more information about the Vantage, TAMS and its wide range of medical imaging products, please visit www.medical.toshiba.com.

About Toshiba

With headquarters in Tustin, Toshiba America Medical Systems markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, and coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in the United States. Toshiba Medical Systems Corp., an independent group company of Toshiba Corp., is a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, MRI and information systems. Toshiba Corp. is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems. Toshiba has approximately 162,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of $55 billion.

Excelart Vantage(TM) and Pianissimo(TM) are trademarks of Toshiba Medical Systems Corp.
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Comment:Toshiba Announces F2 Edition of the Vantage MRI System; Advanced Software and Hardware Features Improve Acquisition Speed and Image Quality.
Publication:Business Wire
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Date:Dec 8, 2005
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