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Experience report of the university hospital Magdeburg on the use of the contrast medium injectors Accutron MR ...

... in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Accutron CT-D in computed tomography (CT)

Radiologist Christian Wybranski summarizes the experience of the clinic for radiology and nuclear medicine of the university hospital Magdeburg.

MEDTRON: All examinations in the MRI as well as CT and PET-CT departments of the clinic for radiology and nuclear medicine of the university hospital Magdeburg are performed with contrast medium injectors of the company MEDTRON. A total of seven MEDTRON devices is used in your hospital. Are you satisfied with the mobility of the cordless contrast medium injectors?

Christian Wybranski: In the MRI department, two double-head injectors of the type Accutron MR are used in combination with the 1T Panorama HFO and the 3T Achieva. The contrast medium injectors allow great spatial flexibility. They can either be operated in the MR unit by means of a touch screen control panel on the injector, or they can be controlled wirelessly by touch screen remote control from the control room.

The efficient high-performance batteries ensure the mains-independent operation of the injectors. As there is only little space in the MR unit, the injectors can be positioned in the room flexibly and as required, or can be easily rolled out of the MR unit, e.g. when re-positioning the patient (for example intensive care patients). The batteries located in the column stand can be easily charged by means of the mains plug. Charging usually takes place overnight (between 10 p.m. and 6.30 a.m.). This has been pointed out positively by all medical-technical radiology assistants (MTRAs).

Fully charged batteries allow the mains-independent operation of the injector for one working day (about 15 – 20 examinations per device) without any difficulty.

As regards the flexibility, the Accutron CT-D with ceiling mount is comparable to other contrast medium injectors mounted in this way. The injector can either be operated by means of the control panel on the swivelling injection unit or the ceiling mount as well as by touch screen remote control.

MEDTRON: What is your experience regarding the operation of the contrast medium injectors? Can the Accutron devices be handled easily?

Christian Wybranski: The operation of the Accutron MR and the Accutron CT-D has been considered positive by all MTRAs. The graphical user interfaces of the Accutron MR and the Accutron CT-D are clearly structured. The buttons for the manual piston movement to the right and left of the touch screen are positioned intuitively. The Accutron CT-D additionally has these buttons on the rear of the operating unit and therefore allows an ergonomic operation. Some MTRAs considered this particularly positive. In MRI and CT the contrast medium injection is usually controlled by means of the touch screen remote control.

The operating menu is designed in a simple and intuitive way. All MTRAs considered this to be the greatest advantage of MEDTRON injectors in comparison to other contrast medium injectors. Thanks to intuitive symbols on the buttons the user can quickly learn how to create, edit and save profiles, how to change between existing profiles and how to start and interrupt an injection (via Hold-button) or stop it in case of an emergency (via Stop-button). Another advantage is the indication of the available or remaining volume of contrast medium or saline solution on the display. The indication supports the MTRAs in the planning of the examinations to be performed.

The Accutron MR and CT-D allow the user to save 80 injection profiles with a maximum of 6 injection phases per profile and to give each of them an individual profile name. Injection profiles can be easily created, edited and saved. The injectors definitely offer an advantage with respect to studies in which certain application schemes must be observed. Thanks to the possibility to have the injection history of the last 20 contrast medium injections displayed on the operating unit, you can also control in the evening whether a study has been carried out properly during the day.

The possibility to carry out two-phase profiles has proved successful for neuroradiological MR perfusion studies of the cervical and intracerebral arteries performed with the 3T Achieva as well as for Cardio-CTs performed with the Biograph 64. By administering an NaCl flush bolus, a compact bolus profile can be produced and a contrast medium run-on can be avoided. Thus, the image quality can be improved.

MEDTRON: How do you like the construction of the contrast medium injectors?

Christian Wybranski: Some MTRAs emphasized the Accutron MR’s construction “without frills”, which allows easier cleaning and disinfection. Patient safety is ensured by repeated confirmation prompts regarding the venting of the tube system before the injection (individual prompts for the contrast medium and NaCl piston).

The bottle holders on the column stand of the injectors are considered to be a disadvantage: The bottle holders of the injector which is used together with the 1T Panorama HFO are suitable for large bottles (100 – 200 ml). However, the bottle holders for smaller contrast medium bottles, e.g. with a volume of 20 ml, are only of limited use because the bottles are fitting rather loosely in the holders.

MEDTRON: What do you think of the consumables for the injectors and the customer service of MEDTRON AG?

Christian Wybranski: The injectors are checked once a year by MEDTRON’s maintenance staff. We consider the service of MEDTRON to be good (8 out of 10 points). Besides the required safety inspection, maintenance work is also performed. The advantage of this arrangement is that a 1-year guarantee on the proper functioning of the injector is given.

As regards consumables, we use the syringes and tube systems of MEDTRON. Our experience with the consumables of MEDTRON is positive.

The clinic for radiology and nuclear medicine of the university hospital Magdeburg uses the following contrast medium injectors of MEDTRON AG:

The Injektron MR/T (produced in 1997) is used in combination with the 3 Tesla (3T) Magnetom Verio (Siemens Health Care, Erlangen/Germany), the Injektron 82 MRT (produced in 2003) with the 1.5T Intera (Philips Health Care, Best/Netherlands), and two Accutron MR (produced in 2007 and 2011) are used with the 1T Panorama HFO and the 3T Achieva (Philips Health Care, Best/Netherlands). Two Injektron CT2 (produced in 2003 and 2008) are used in combination with the Toshiba Aquilion 16 (Toshiba Medical Systems, Toshigi/Japan) and the Volume Zoom (Siemens Health Care, Erlangen/Germany), and an Accutron CT-D (produced in 2010) is used with the PET-CT Biogragraph 64 (Siemens Health Care, Erlangen/Germany).

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