Infinix-VF-i at the Montreal Neurological Institute:
An Interview with Dr. Donatella Tampieri
Toronto, Ontario, July 16, 2014 – Toshiba’s Infinix-VF-i Biplane System was recently installed at the Montreal Neurological Institute. The new angio suite offers significant advantages to patients and physicians, the most important of which is improved safety and outcomes. In the following interview, Dr. Donatella Tampieri, Director of The Neuro’s Neuroradiology Department discusses her experience with the new Infinix-VF-i Biplane System.
Dr. Donatella Tampieri is the Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University and is Head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. Her major areas of expertise are in interventional neuroradiology (endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysm, arterio-venous malformations, dural arterio-venous fistula and pre-operatory embolization of tumors). The treatment of back and cervical spine pain represents also a large component of her activities including nerve and facets block and epidural injections, and vertebroplasty. In Diagnostic Neuroradiology her major expertise is in epilepsy and brain tumors, using fully all the most advanced imaging applications including tractography (DTI). Dr Tampieri practices Neuroradiology in all McGill affiliated teaching Hospitals including the Montreal Children Hospital.
Tell us a about your role as the Director of The Neuro’s Neuroradiology Department?
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to present our department and what we do here at the Neuro’s Neuroradiology Department. I have been the director of the department now for 10 years. Dr. Maria Cortes and Dr. Denis Melançon, both neuroradiologists, are my colleagues. In our department, we cover everything from diagnostic neuroradiology to interventional procedures. We work very closely with the clinical neuroscience and neurosurgery departments. We have a mandate to push the limit of clinical advancement in research and in patient care. In our role as a partner with the clinical science team, we are always pushing the envelope with neuroradiology. We are always in search of new ways of looking at the structure of the central nervous system and the brain in order to better facilitate patient care. We are also actively researching the implementation of new technologies to help bring new devices into effect to enhance patient care.
Why did you first select Toshiba as your imaging vendor?
I have been working with Toshiba since 2010 when the first Toshiba Aquilion ONE CT scanner was installed here at the Neuro’s Neuroradiology Department. We selected the Aquilion ONE because it was and still is the only CT scanner that can provide full coverage for the brain for CT Angiography and CT perfusion. In my opinion, there is no other CT product that can provide the same level of quality, versatility and specificity that the Aquilion ONE offers. This year, with our new angio suite we do mainly interventional angiographic procedures. We chose the Infinix-VF-i Biplane System because we felt the quality of the images to be superior in terms of spatial resolution for small vascularity. In addition the flexibility of the room enabled by the ergonomics of the system is very important. We are able to bring the patient into this room, place them on the table and then we don’t move the patient anymore.
The Infinix-VF-i Biplane System comes with unique C-arm positioning, which provides our team with easy patient access and enables more complex procedures which is very important in neuro interventions. For example, during these procedures it is important that you do not change the patient’s position. With this system you place the patient on the table, find your ideal working position and then you maintain this throughout the procedure by simply readjusting the C-arm as required. With other systems on the market, I found none that could adjust the lateral C-arm as freely as Toshiba’s system. Toshiba’s Infinix-VF-i Biplane System was the preferred choice in addressing this problem with its advanced dose reduction technologies with respect to time, distance, shielding and image processing. The agile interactive C-arms reduce Source to Image Distance (SID) and increase coverage, accelerating examinations and limiting x-ray exposure. The flexible C-arms optimize positioning and coverage to manage dose with WorkRite technology that allows clinicians to optimize shielding or change direction of the X-ray beam. Because of the geometry and the ergonomics of the system we have instant access to the patient’s body by just moving the C-arm. The patient’s position remains unchanged. This is very important as it allows us to return to our original position without losing any of the data that we have. To conclude we chose the VF-i biplane system because of a combination of access, coverage, image quality and workflow efficiency. Toshiba’s track record for excellent service also was an important consideration. I have worked with Toshiba equipment for a number of years and I have to say that the service has been quite impeccable. We have always been very well served.
What do you like most about working with Toshiba?
The equipment is very solid and the people at Toshiba are committed to working directly with us from start to finish. Toshiba’s organization has always been very sensitive to our clinical needs and I think this is a very strategic combination. Toshiba is staffed by dedicated employees who believe strongly in serving and pleasing customers. You can have the most beautiful machine in this world but if it is not performing and you don’t have the required service and support, it can be difficult to solve problems quickly and easily. Toshiba’s service organization is accessible with one phone call, empowering each service representative with the options they need to solve cases quickly and fairly. Their applications team is also phenomenal devoting a great deal of time and effort to tailor our machine to the way we work. Consequently the speed of our exams have gone down tremendously. I think it is a combination of phenomenal people, relationships and equipment.
What features of the Infinix-VF-I Biplane System do you like the most?
For us the major advantage is the image quality and the Navigation assisted 3D roadmapping feature available with the Infinix-VF-i Biplane, providing us with greater confidence during difficult interventional procedures. It can be challenging to accurately navigate and interpret the vascular anatomy for precise device implantation during interventional procedures. With Toshiba’s real-time 3D Navigation Roadmap we can display the deployment of coils during the intervention of a cerebral aneurysm with exceptional clarity and precision. The Volume Navigation links the movement of the system components with the fusion 3D and fluoroscopic display. Therefore despite changes in the position of the table and C-arm, the 3D overlay is automatically aligned with the fluoroscopic image with high accuracy.
The fact that we can move the frontal C-arm back and forth and use it also for teaching purposes is a huge benefit. We demonstrate during our teaching sessions how Volume Navigation takes 3D roadmapping to the next level with two display modes and three manual adjustments to optimize the image at any stage of the procedure. These features provide the tools neuroradiologists require to navigate complex anatomy with greater precision and control. Not only is the resolution beautiful but above all the reliability of the execution of the procedure is what matters most. Now we can manage a brain aneurism treatment in less than an hour. The Volume Navigation enables better confidence when decoding and navigating complex vascular structures. Consequently it helps us to perform complicated interventions with high speed and optimum precision. We are very targeted in what we do in terms of procedure. This has reduced the time of execution of the procedure which also enables us to minimize radiation exposure to patients.
Would you recommend the Infinix-VF-i Biplane System to your peers?
Yes, I would certainly recommend the Infinix-VF-I Biplane System to peers as it is a unique product. The Volume Navigation feature available with the Infinix-VF-i Biplane provides our team with greater confidence when navigating complex vascular structures, enabling us to perform complicated interventions more quickly and accurately. Infinix- VF-i Biplane System is another example of Toshiba’s commitment to developing industry-leading technology. There are not many units on the market like this - it is very advantageous helping our hospital to improve diagnostic confidence, workflow and patient outcomes.
What does the future of neuroradiology hold in your opinion?
My vision would be to have an integrated system enabling CT and low contrast imaging during angiography. From the angiography point of view, I believe the virtual insertion of a device coil and stent could be improved. In an ideal work, it would be possible to do a user friendly preparation of our intervention before we do the actual intervention. This would aid patient education enabling patients to better understand their condition and the treatment plan before they sign the consent. There is still a bit of work to do when it comes to measuring devices. In today’s market there are so many different stent devices from different vendors. I think if we could make a workstation more user friendly to enable a selection of applicable stents along with an opportunity to conduct virtual surgery before actual surgery, such developments could further enhance patient care.
Thank you for this interview.
About Toshiba of Canada Limited, Medical Systems Division
With headquarters in Markham, Ontario, Toshiba of Canada Limited, Medical Systems Division (TCL), markets, sells, distributes and services radiology and cardiovascular systems, including CT, MR, ultrasound, X-ray and cardiovascular equipment, and coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in Canada. For more information, visit the TCL Medical Systems Division website at www.toshiba-medical.ca
About Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation
Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation is a leading worldwide provider of medical diagnostic imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray and vascular, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and MRI systems, as well as information systems for medical institutions. Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation has been providing medical products for over 80 years. Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba. Visit Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation’s website at www.toshibamedicalsystems.com.
Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical products and systems into five strategic business domains: Energy & Infrastructure, Community Solutions, Healthcare Systems & Services, Electronic Devices & Components, and Lifestyles Products & Services. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba promotes global operations towards securing “Growth Through Creativity and Innovation” and is contributing to the achievement of a world in which people everywhere live in a safe, secure and comfortable society. Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of over 590 consolidated companies employing over 200,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 6.5 trillion yen (US$63 billion). To find out more about Toshiba, visit www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm.