Evaluation Background: Single-Plane Angiography Systems

April 11, 2018 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background for our Evaluations of single-plane, interventional radiology/vascular angiography systems, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. See our product ratings, and learn how the technology is used, which specs are important, and what factors we test for. Also review ECRI Institute's data describing hospitals' interest in each vendor.

Single-plane, interventional radiology/vascular angiography systems are used to visualize the peripheral vascular system in real time for the assessment of potential conditions of the vasculature (diagnostic) and to provide guidance during vascular procedures.

These devices provide real-time views of the peripheral vasculature via fluoroscopy, digital subtraction angiography (DSA), and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). They consist of a single C-arm that can be moved into multiple positions relative to the patient. Peripheral vascular applications typically demand a large field of view, so devices in this category will typically have a detector with dimensions of 30 × 40 cm or 40 × 40 cm.

Angiography systems have not recently undergone any major changes but have improved over time in terms of overall performance. All new systems now utilize a flat-panel digital detector (as opposed to an image intensifier), which improves image processing. In addition, there is a push for hardware and software advancements as new systems demonstrate greater capabilities. Concern for dose reduction and dose safety has increased in recent years, and this is often addressed in terms of better patient/staff monitoring software and better image quality to reduce needed exposure. New x-ray tubes and detectors with better specifications, along with software applications focused on 3-D reconstruction, motion reduction, and procedure automation, demonstrate that this technology is focused on improving visualization and workflow to support better patient outcomes.

In addition to performance improvements in the technology, there is increased utilization of angiography systems with other modalities and in different applications. Advancements in software now further support system utilization with magnetic resonance angiography, computed tomography angiography, and ultrasound angiography. Facilities with hybrid OR setups in which patients do not need to be moved between angiography (cardiac catheterization) and surgery are also becoming more prevalent.

Components of a single-plane angiography system typically include the following:


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