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Providing a Hub to Advance Interventional Radiology

January 12, 2022

VISIONS spoke with Prof. Bellelli, Head of the Radiology Department at the San Pietro Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Rome in Italy has emerged as one of the world’s centers of Interventional Radiology expertise, and the San Pietro Hospital, located in the north of the city, makes a significant contribution. Focusing on several specialisms including Oncology, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Musculoskeletal (MSK) surgery, it has a strong team of Interventional Radiologists led by Professor Alberto Bellelli. He explained to VISIONS how a long collaboration with Canon Medical that has spanned two decades has enabled the Hospital to develop as a center of excellence in Interventional Radiology.
San Pietro’s Radiology Department has opted for several different modalities from Canon Medical, including CT, MR and Ultrasound - all supported by Vitrea Advanced Visualization (AV) post-processing software). The Aquilion PRIME SP CT is used for all advanced diagnostic examinations, including Cardiac and Oncology. The Astelion Advance CT is primarily used for MSK Interventional Radiology procedures, often in combination with Smart Fusion. The MR systems (Vantage Titan and Orian) are used for all specialties. Vitrea connects all the modalities, collects all the information that is obtained, and consolidates this into a single report.

Quality and integration

Prof. Bellelli has found that the quality of the cardiac examinations obtained from the Aquilion PRIME SP and Vantage Orian is very high, and Vitrea AV maximizes and consolidates the information that the specialists can obtain from the tomographic images.

“Vitrea AV streamlines the post processing of the cardiac examinations and the radiologists and the cardiologists using the system are pleased by the quality and presentation of the results, which is fundamental for a highly specialized department,” he remarked.

Surgical MSK procedures, another core activity of the hospital, are required on a very large number of patients.
“Global Illumination is a feature that has surprised the hospital’s surgeons. It is the first time they have had the opportunity to interact with such realistic rendering of the displacement of all the bone structures,” said Prof. Bellelli. “3D images are really suitable for the depth of anatomical structure that we need to see. In combination with the SEMAR algorithm of the CT system and the post-surgical control examination, the images provided are incredible in case of metal implants. Global Illumination provides an outstanding rendering of the anatomical structures, and the easy segmentation enables a quick method to accurately map all the fracture fragments.”

“The possibility to combine images from different modalities is very well-designed,” he continued. “In a department, such as ours, where we use a full range of information sources and modalities in the planning of interventional procedures, this feature is mandatory. Vitrea gives many benefits in modality integration. Ever since my first experience with Vitrea, I could appreciate the smooth workflow that it provides for complex post-processing, in comparison to other products that I have used before. After the selection of the images to be processed, Vitrea automatically extracts the qualitative and the quantitative information needed, according to the specific examination and clinical application. The Radiologist can focus their efforts just on formulating the diagnosis, and not on extracting the information.”

“Global Illumination provides an outstanding rendering of the anatomical structures and easy segmentation tools enable a quick method to accurately map all the fracture fragments.”

Prof. Bellelli.

Best independent post-processing

Prof. Bellelli leads a team of 64 collaborators focused on Interventional Radiology procedures. In a broader context, Vitrea also provides post-processing capability that is multi-vendor, which enables the experts to integrate their work more easily.

“I prefer to have all the images directly acquired in my department, on the Canon Medical equipment, but this is not always possible. Sometimes, I need to process examinations that are scanned with the systems of other vendors. Vitrea doesn’t put any limits in the processing of images from other vendors and this provides the possibility to always have the best post-processing, independent of the vendor,” he explained.
San Pietro Hospital, Rome, Italy.
“One of the biggest benefits that the Vitrea provides is that it can support full collaboration with other specialists, who are not always certain of images. Vitrea presents information in a very user-friendly and easy-to-understand way, also for specialties that are not confident with radiologic images.”

Vitrea AV has also helped facilitate communication across Prof. Bellelli’s clinical team, as the representation of the relevant clinical structures is extremely clear. There are currently 16 radiologists in the Department. All of them support their reports with the Vitrea AV. In particular, the generic vascular and cardiac examinations require the Vessel Analysis tools. Communication among team members is also facilitated for MSK surgical planning, in which the Radiologist is required to provide a clear representation of the anatomical structure to enable the surgeon to choose the best surgical approach.

“Of course, the most important benefit is in the improvement of selecting the most suitable Interventional procedure in order to avoid, or limit treatment complications,” added Prof. Bellelli.

Key role in continuous development

Prof Bellelli started working with Canon Medical twenty years ago. During this time, the relationship has been consolidated through continuous support of Canon Medical’s team in training, advanced clinical sessions and problem solving. Prof. Bellelli has been able to improve and develop his clinical protocols with the support of Canon Medical’s experts.

“Canon Medical plays a key role in the planning and ongoing development of our Radiology Department. And continuous dialogue and collaboration between Canon Medical and our hospital in terms of new technologies and deployments is essential for the realization of our vision,” said Prof. Bellelli.

“Our aim is to provide the best patient care, but at the same time there is a necessity to optimize the efforts of the internal resources to guarantee the best possible experience to the patient. To achieve this result, it is mandatory to implement a fast and reliable modality integrated solution across all the imaging devices in the department. The department of today must also aspire to the department of the future. This means that all modalities installed must be open to further implementation and upgrade to ensure that the clinical offer to patients is always ‘state-of-the-art’. Efficient workflow means that our department is ready for the introduction of the latest technologies,” Prof. Bellelli concluded. //

“In combination with the SEMAR algorithm of the CT system and the post-surgical control examination, the images provided are incredible in case of metal implants.”

Prof. Bellelli.
Prof. Bellelli is the Head of the Interventional Radiology department of the San Pietro Hospital, in Rome, Italy, and has been working for the past 30 years in the fields of diagnostic radiology, emergency and later specializing in pain therapy, diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of lumbar and joint pain. He has joined San Pietro Hospital in 2018, where he is now leading a team of 64 collaborators focused on interventional procedures.

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