Hitachi to Begin Evaluation of New Diagnostic Imaging Device With Varian Medical Systems' Amorphous Silicon Technology | Varian

Hitachi to Begin Evaluation of New Diagnostic Imaging Device With Varian Medical Systems' Amorphous Silicon Technology

SALT LAKE CITY--(BW HealthWire)--June 19, 2001--

Device slated for clinical trials in Japan for
gastrointestinal diagnoses

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR) today announced that Hitachi Medical Corporation will begin clinical evaluation of a new gastrointestinal diagnostic imaging system that incorporates Varian's latest amorphous silicon flat panel digital radiography unit, PaxScan 4030A.

Varian's PaxScan 4030A is the first flat panel digital radiography unit large enough and fast enough for clinical applications that require instantaneous imaging of large areas. It incorporates the industry's most proven and widely adopted scintillator imaging technology, and sets new standards with its large field of view and its ability to acquire high-resolution images in real time. Size and speed were important to Hitachi in its development of a new gastrointestinal diagnostic imaging system.

"Cancer of the digestive tract organs such as the stomach and the colon are especially prevalent in Japan," explained Chuck Blouir, marketing manager for Varian's flat panel business. "Because of its size, the PaxScan 4030A is especially good for diagnosis in these cases. For a normal adult, you need 16 inches of coverage to see the entire abdomen. The 4030A is large enough to show a full torso from left to right without panning," he added.

"For gastrointestinal diagnosis, contrast medium flow is critical to obtaining good clinical data. By using this large area flat panel detector, we expect to obtain good clinical flouro imaging in a low dose radiation environment," stated Dr. Ken Ishikawa of Hitachi Medical Corporation.

The PaxScan unit measures 40 cm X 30 cm, and it can acquire high-resolution fluoroscopic images at up to 30 frames per second (FPS) and radiographic images up to 7.5 FPS. It utilizes a highly efficient cesium iodide scintillator deposited directly on an amorphous silicon TFT array, and is designed to replace the bulkier image intensifier (II) / charge coupled device (CCD) camera systems generally used for creating digital images of anatomy that is in motion.

The PaxScan technology has a number of advantages over the II/CCD camera system, which is very heavy, requiring bulky support structures in the tables or c-arm devices where they are used. "This is not an issue with the PaxScan unit," Blouir said. "It is light, provides more patient coverage, and it takes up less vertical space. Clinically, in undertable applications, that means your table top can be closer to the floor, so patients do not have to climb up onto a high surface for imaging."

Image intensifiers also cause distortion of the images around the outside edges. This is not a problem with the flat panel technology. And as a solid state device, the PaxScan 4030A requires less maintenance than II/CCD camera systems, which tend to require numerous periodic service adjustments.

Hitachi Medical Corporation is the first medical manufacturer to utilize the PaxScan 4030A in a clinical application. The company's preliminary investigations have demonstrated that fluoroscopic images obtained with the PaxScan 4030A equaled those from a conventional image intensifier / CCD camera system in terms of contrast detail. Hitachi will now launch studies to assess the unit's performance in a clinical setting.

"The PaxScan 4030A is a very exciting new product for us. This is an important milestone in the development and deployment of our new amorphous silicon imaging technology," said Blouir.

Varian recently consolidated its flat panel imaging products manufacturing facilities at its site in Salt Lake City, Utah. "We are proving to our customers that we can deliver excellent products as they need them. The new production facility in Salt Lake City is part of our total commitment to this breakout technology. We will continue to work hard to supply our customers with products that meet their needs."

Photos of a PaxScan 4030A unit, and also the company's digital radiography products being assembled in the company's new clean room in Salt Lake City are available at the Varian news website (www.varian.com/en-au/news).

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. , (NYSE:VAR) of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems as well as X-ray tubes and flat-panel sensors for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 2,400 people and reported sales of $690 million in its most recent fiscal year ended September 29, 2000. The company's X-ray Products business unit is based in Salt Lake City. For more information, visit www.varian.com.

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CONTACT: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Spencer Sias, 650/424-5782
spencer.sias@varian.com
Meryl Ginsberg, 650/424-6444
meryl.ginsberg@varian.com